Ask St. Ann’s – Tips for hot summer days

Posted on June 29, 2018

Tips for Hot Summer Days

By Kim Ziegler, MS, RN, Director of Education at St. Ann’s Community.

For adults ages 50+, heat-related illnesses could be a matter of life and death. Here are warning signs of overheating, and what we can do to protect ourselves:

Warning Signs
Loss of water in the body
Muscle cramps
Dizziness or fainting
Heat Stroke:
Dangerous rise in body temp; can be deadly
Body temp of ≥ 103°
Red, hot, dry skin
Fast pulse
Dizziness or fainting
Nausea or vomiting
Heat Exhaustion:
Serious problem caused by too much heat and dehydration; can lead to heat stroke
Heavy sweating OR no sweating
Muscle cramps
Pale, cold, clammy skin
Dizziness or fainting
Nausea or vomiting
Fast, weak pulse
Heat Syncope:
Dizziness or fainting caused by high temps
Dizziness or fainting

What should we do?

  • Lie down and rest in a cool place
  • Fluids – waters and juices not alcohol or caffeine
  • Sponge off with cool water or apply cool cloths to wrists, ankles, armpits, neck
  • Loosen heavy clothing
  • If signs of heat stroke will need emergency attention

Preventative measures:

  • HYDRATE proactively … don’t wait to feel thirsty
  • If extreme heat, stay indoors, preferably in air conditioning
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully – hottest between 10 and 2
  • Limit sun exposure and rest in the shade
  • Appropriate clothing – lightweight, loose fitting, light colored, wide-brimmed hats
  • Wear sunglasses
  • Use sunscreen
  • Limit strenuous activity

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