Summertime safety tips

As many of you already know, I love summer.

I could live in eternal warmth and sunshine for the rest of my life!

But naturally, along with summertime fun comes necessary, heat-related precautions.

After all, certain parts of the world are experiencing record-breaking heat waves without much—if any—immediate relief on the horizon. And these extreme, high temperatures can also RAISE the potential for heat-related health issues.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average of 702 deaths, over 67,500 emergency room visits, and nearly 10,000 hospitalizations occur due to heat each year.

So, considering heat waves are more and more common—tripling in occurrence compared to the 1960s—it’s vital to discuss some summertime safety tips…

Hydration is key

I never quite understood how relentless the heat could be until I lived in Dallas, Texas.

During my first summer, the thermostat went above 90 degrees Fahrenheit in April… and didn’t drop below that until September!

In fact, there was one month where daytime highs reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 days straight. (Yikes!)

So, I learned firsthand just how important it is to take care of yourself in the heat. Which brings me to my No. 1 tip: Stay hydrated.

You must drink water all day long to battle the heat. And that’s even when you don’t feel thirsty—because you lose water when you sweat.

As a general rule of thumb, I recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces of water each day. So, a 160-pound person would need 80 ounces of water daily.

Remember, caffeinated beverages, sugar, and alcohol can dehydrate you. So, you’ll need to tack on yet another cup of water to make up for those indulgences.

Plus, on a particularly sweaty day—perhaps when you’re working outside or exercising—you’ll want to add electrolytes (like sodium) to your water to replace the salt you’re losing.

But whatever you do, DON’T reach for “sports” drinks.

Those so-called “health” beverages offer a lot more than electrolytes. And, needless to say, they’re actually quite terrible for your body.

Instead, add sea salt, chunks of watermelon, or crushed ginger root to your water—or enjoy some coconut water—for a healthy electrolyte boost.

Now, let’s move on to another crucial tip…

Keep your body cool

It’s important to also keep your body cool in order to help prevent heat-related illness.

If your home doesn’t have air conditioning, try going to a public place that does, like the local library, a shopping mall, or even a movie theatre.

You can also contact your local health department to see if there’s a community cooling station nearby.

In addition, it’s important to stay out of the sun during peak times (10 a.m. through 2 p.m.) and prolonged heat waves. Schedule outdoor activities for the early morning or evening when temperatures are less extreme.

You’ll also want to opt for loose-fitting, light colored clothing.

Finally, many people don’t realize the heat is getting to them until it’s already too late. But heat-related illness can bring anything from skin rashes to deadly strokes. So, keep an eye out for the following, common signs of heat exhaustion:

  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Excessive or no sweating
  • Feeling faint (or fainting)

If you start feeling any of these symptoms, I urge you to stop what you’re doing and rest in the shade or indoors.

At the end of the day, if you keep these simple summertime tips in mind, I know you’ll continue to have an amazing summer—just as I plan to do.

Until next time,
Dr. Fred

P.S. In last month’s issue of Logical Health Alternatives (“Your complete summer guide for safely enjoying more “fun in the sun'”), I outline my top-three tips for safe sunbathing AND the best home remedies for fast relief. So if you’re not yet a subscriber, I highly encourage you to become one today. You won’t want to miss these additional, highly effective, summertime safety tips.