It’s no secret that warmer weather and sunnier skies mean it’s time to get out the sunscreen and water bottles.
But it may surprise you that heat stroke causes more deaths each year in the United States than hurricanes, lightening, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes combined. As the summer season settles in, make sure you’re planning ahead to mitigate heat related risks at work and at home.
- Know your risk factors: Anyone can be affected by heat-related illness, but people with heart disease, high blood pressure or who are on certain medications are at a greater risk for suffering during this time. Additionally infants, young children and people over the age of 65 are also at a higher risk. Talk to your HLC provider or primary care physician about whether or not you’re at an increased risk, and watch out for those around you.
- Don’t wait until you’re thirsty*: Stay hydrated by drinking water every 15 minutes, especially if you are working intensely or spending time outdoors. Avoid sugary, caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
- Orange is the new black: It doesn’t have to be orange, but loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing will help your body stay cooler. Tight or dark clothing can prevent your sweat from evaporating and keep your body from naturally cooling itself.
- Acclimate to the heat: If you can, avoid vigorous or outdoor activity until your body has had some time to adjust to warmer temperatures. If you can’t avoid these types of activities, make sure you take regular breaks in a shady or cool place.
Watch myMohawk for additional heat-related safety articles.
*Some medical conditions may require you to limit fluid intake. Consult with your medical provider and make a plan for how to balance your medical and hydration needs if you’ve been diagnosed with one of these conditions.