Heat and Dehydration during these summer days

During this extremely hot weather many are experiencing during the summer already, it is so important to take the proper precautions when you are able to get outdoors to enjoy the outdoor activities such as swimming, sun bathing, amusement parks, ball games, and gardening.
Acclimating oneself to the weather is very important for all ages rather than jumping right into your favorite summer activities.

How does one do this? It takes 10-14 days working or exercising in the heat for your body to become acclimated to the hotter temperatures. You should begin slowly and then gradually add more time doing the activity.As your body adjusts to the temperature, the amounts of body fluid losses (sweating and urinating) increases because once adjusted, you sweat more and sooner than before you were adjusted.

When to hydrate your body? You should be drinking long before you become thirsty. Once you become thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. When it is hot, it is best that you drink on a schedule or keep a drink with you, sipping and drinking continually.

Water is the best thing to drink when you are outside in the heat. Sports drinks such as gatorade is the next best drink because first, it tastes good, so you will drink more of it than the water. These type drinks help you replace the electrolytes you lose while sweating and urinating and they provide the carbohydrate energy needed for your muscles during exercise, work or play.

You need to begin hydrating your body prior to entering the sun and summer day activities. Prior to the activities, adults need 20 ounces of fluid and children need 8 ounces. Adults need 7-10 ounces of fluid every 10-20 minutes of activities while outside in the heat whereas children need 5-9 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes of playing outside. Once the fun in the sun is over, both children and adults need an additional 24 ounces of fluids within the next 2 hours following the outdoors activities.

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

Dry lips and tongue.
Weakness, dizziness, or extreme fatigue.
Concentrated urine that appears darker than normal.
Muscle cramps.

The American Medical Association reminds us that pouring water over your head when it is hot does not replace the fluids you need in your body and does not lower the core temperature of the body, so please drink plenty of fluids, wear light clothing, and get in the shade from time to time.

Although beer, alcohol, soft drinks and tea may be enjoyed as a cool refreshing drink while outside, these are not recommended because they contribute to dehyration by stimulating urine production; thus, causing dehyration.

Remember, anytime a person who has been outside working or playing in the heat becomes disoriented or unconscious to seek medical attention immediately.

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