Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Coping With the Summer Heat

We are entering the hot summer months in Florida and it is important to prevent heat stroke and heat exhaustion.  Older Adults (aged 65 and older) are more susceptible to heat stress than younger people and older adults may also be taking medications that decrease their ability to regulate their body temperature.  Here are some tips from the Administration on Aging to stay safe in the heat:
  • drink more fluids (but avoid drinks with lots of sugar or alcohol)
  • stay indoors as much as possible
  • electric fans help some, but are not helpful if the temperature is in the high nineties
  • take a cool shower or bath
  • if you do not have air conditioning, consider visiting a public library or mall
  • never leave anyone in a closed and parked vehicle
If you become very overheated, you may get heat stroke.  This serious illness occurs when the body can not regulate its temperature anymore and the body stops sweating.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists these symptoms for heat stroke:
  • high body temperature - above 103 degrees
  • hot dry skin
  • rapid pulse
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • throbbing headache
For more information, on heat stress in Older Adults, you can click here.

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