Heat Disorders – Dehydration
During the summer, we must all take precautions to ensure our bodies don’t get overheated. Today we’ll look at dehydration. Although it is technically not a heat disorder, it is certainly related.
Lose More Than Take In
Dehydration occurs when you lose more fluid than you take in and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. If lost fluid remains unreplenished, you may suffer serious consequences.
Common causes of dehydration include intense bouts of diarrhea, vomiting, fever or excessive sweating. Inadequate intake of water during hot weather or exercise also may deplete your body’s water stores. Anyone may become dehydrated, but young children, older adults and people with chronic illnesses are most at risk.
Mild Dehydration Symptoms
Mild dehydration can cause symptoms such as
- Dry, sticky mouth
- Sleepiness or tiredness
- Decreased urine output
- Few or no tears when crying
- Muscle weakness
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
Treatment for Dehydration
Dehydration can be treated by replenishing the lost fluids your body has lost. Drink at least 32 ounces of water or sports drinks slowly and steadily. Rest, if you don’t feel
better, drink more slowly and steadily.
Heat Disorders – Prevention
During the summer, we must all take precautions to ensure our bodies don’t get overheated.
Ways to Prevent Heat Disorders
Today we’ll look at ways to prevent these heat stress disorders.
- Use general ventilation, cooling fans, and evaporative cooling whenever possible.
- Shield furnaces and other heat producing equipment including steam leaks.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light colored clothes.
- Drink water steadily before and during work in the heat.
- Drink about 16 ounces before starting
- Drink 5 to 7 ounces every 15 or 20 minutes during hot work.
- Eat well-balanced meals. Eat more smaller/lighter meals rather than large meals.
- Avoid drinks with alcohol and caffeine.
- Work at a steady pace, minimizing overexertion.
- Take regular breaks in a cool, well-ventilated area.
- Know your own limits and ability to work safely in heat.
- Take extra precautions with certain medications. Several medications can affect your body’s ability to stay hydrated. Check with your doctor.
- Avoid sunburn. Having a sunburn reduces your body’s ability to rid itself of heat.
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