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It’s a Hot One, Folks!

Ugh! Sweat… so much sweat! Summer is hot, and this summer in particular is a HOT ONE. For many of us, the summer heat is an inconvenience, but it can bring serious health concerns. Each year, more than 600 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat. Fortunately, many heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable.

Here are a few ways to protect yourself from the blistering summer heat.

Drink up!

As temperatures outside continue to rise, so too does our body temperature. It’s vital to stay hydrated to regulate our body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells and keep organs functioning properly.

When it comes to staying hydrated, pay attention to your body. There are several warning signs that you may be dehydrated including:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Decreased amount of urine
  • Dark color of urine
  • Dry mouth and swollen tongue
  • Sluggishness and fatigue

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Sports drinks can be useful in helping replenish electrolytes but should be consumed with caution, as they can contain high amounts of sodium and sugar. You should also avoid drinking caffeinated and alcoholic beverages as a means of hydrating.

Love the Skin Your In

Sunburns aren’t fun. They hurt, they peal, they itch… But most importantly, they can increase your chances of developing skin cancer.

Take extra precautions to protect your skin when planning on being outside for long periods.

  • Wear ample amounts of sunscreen
  • Opt for loose-fitting clothes
  • Wear a hat that will cover your face and neck
  • Rest in the shade as often as possible

The Mask

We get it… masks are hot. And not like Paris Hilton hot. They make you sweat, and it’s sometimes difficult to breathe in them. But the benefits of wearing a mask far outweigh the discomfort of being warm for a little while.

Despite how much it stinks, facemasks need to cover BOTH the mouth AND the nose. If you find it difficult to breathe with your mouth and nose covered, consider switching from a cloth mask to a surgical grade mask. Surgical masks are designed to be worn for longer periods and are thinner to allow for better airflow. (Please note: many surgical masks are disposable and should only be worn once as the material begins to break down after use.)

When it comes to battling the summer heat, we have to rely on our common sense. We should listen to our bodies and know when too much exertion is enough. On particularly hot days, stay indoors as much as you can and avoid activities in direct sunlight. And don’t forget that pets also struggle with the summer heat.

Stay cool out there!

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