Ex­pert Of­fers Tips on Heat-Re­lated Ill­ness

The Jewish Voice - - HEALTH - Edited by: JV Staff

Dr. John Mar­shall, Chair of Emer­gency Medicine at Mai­monides Med­i­cal Cen­ter, of­fers a va­ri­ety of tips to help cope with hot weather and pre­vent avoid­able health prob­lems.

What are some tips to safely get through the sum­mer heat?

Drink more flu­ids (non­al­co­holic) re­gard­less of your ac­tiv­ity level. Don’t wait un­til you’re thirsty to drink.

Avoid liq­uids that con­tain caf­feine or large amounts of su­gar— th­ese ac­tu­ally cause you to lose more body fluid and can lead to de­hy­dra­tion. Avoid very cold drinks as they can cause stom­ach cramps.

Stay in­doors and, if at all pos­si­ble, stay in an air-con­di­tioned place.

Wear light­weight, light-col­ored and loose- fit­ting cloth­ing, and a wide-brimmed hat to de­fle t the sun`s harm­ful rays.

When ex­er­cis­ing, re­mem­ber to stay hy­drated by drink­ing two to four glasses of cool flu­ids each hour.

Pay at­ten­tion to weather re­ports. You are more at risk as the tem­per­a­ture or hu­mid­ity rises and when an air pol­lu­tion alert is in ef­fect.

Avoid hot foods and heavy meals—they add heat to the body.

NEVER leave any­one in a closed, parked ve­hi­cle—in­clud­ing pets.

De­velop a neigh­bor­hood pre­ven­tion plan. Iden­tify those with­out air-con­di­tion­ing and as­sign neigh­bors to check in on those who are at a higher risk of heat-ill­ness.

If your home does not have air-con­di­tion­ing, call your lo­cal health de­part­ment to see if there are any heat-re­lief shel­ters in your area.

Are cer­tain groups of peo­ple at a greater risk for de­vel­op­ing a heat-re­lated ill­ness?

Any­one can be sus­cep­ti­ble to a heat-ill­ness, al­though the very young and very old are at a greater risk. You should check reg­u­larly on in­fants and young chil­dren, el­derly peo­ple, peo­ple who have men­tal dis­abil­i­ties, and peo­ple who are phys­i­cally ill—es­pe­cially with heart dis­ease or high blood pres­sure. Heat-re­lated ill­nesses can be­come se­ri­ous or even deadly if unat­tended.

If you must be out­doors in the heat, what are some pre­ven­tive mea­sures to avoid heat-ill­ness?

For those who must be out­doors, limit your out­door ac­tiv­ity to morn­ing and even­ing hours. Use sun­screen with a min­i­mum of SPF 30. Sun­screen will pre­vent sun­burn, which can limit the skin`s abil­ity to cool it­self. Take breaks if you are work­ing out­doors. If you sus­pect that some­one is suf­fer­ing from a heat-re­lated ill­ness, call 911 to get med­i­cal at­ten­tion as soon as pos­si­ble.

Drink more flu­ids (non­al­co­holic) re­gard­less of your ac­tiv­ity level. Don’t wait un­til you’re thirsty to drink.

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