Summer is fast approaching, bringing on lots of outdoor fun in the sun. I say, BRING IT ON! With plenty of water, that is. Dehydration is one of the most common problems we see in the summer months, as more people get outside in the heat, and get more active. Dehydration is basically when you haven’t taken in enough fluids to replace those that you are losing. Dehydration can progress to Heat Stroke if left unchecked, which can cause you to pass out, hallucinate, or have seizures.
Of course, Dehydration can occur any time of the year, but it’s easier to forget about your fluid needs when you’re distracted by all that summer has to offer. So here are a couple tips to avoid Dehydration (which could seriously cut into your play time), and still get the most out of your summer.
- Plan ahead to drink plenty of water every day. That may mean bringing several bottles of water along with you, or mentally planning to refill your bottle at pre-planned places.
- Take regular breaks in the shade. This can help prevent your internal temperature from rising. This is also an excellent opportunity to drink more water!
- Try to schedule your activities to avoid peak sun times (10AM to 2PM). Early morning and late afternoon activities can reduce your risk of becoming dehydrated.
If you feel that you or one of your companions is becoming dehydrated, or is showing signs of Heat Stroke (red, hot skin but not sweating, appears confused, headache, nausea/vomiting, rapid heart beat), get inside, lay down, cool off with ice packs and get rehydrated. If symptoms are persistent, then get to the ER for further treatment.
-Veronica Dockery, PA-C