Temperatures are set to hit triple digits this weekend and we haven’t even officially kicked summer off yet…
The mercury has been steadily climbing upwards over the last few months, and it almost feels as though spring was just a blip in the mirror.
With high temps beginning to make an appearance, so will cases of heat stroke and/or sunstroke. As the heat and humidity rise, so does the UV index and the index that plays a big part in how the summer heat can take you down.
“Even with all of the rain and clouds we have been experiencing this season so far it is necessary to be aware and on the lookout for signs and symptoms of Heat injuries,” Dr. A. Jack Jorden of Signature Care Emergency Center said.
The standard UV index scale, a scale that is just as important as the mercury(or temperature scale) moderate; sits at around 3 to 5; however, that number can jump to extreme’s of 9 or 10 very easily and contribute to heat or sunstroke.
What this means for you is that when you venture outdoors, the sun’s UV rays will take a shorter time to damage your skin.
Going outside unprotected from the sun when both temperatures and UV rays hit high levels, opens yourself up to possible heatstroke, sunstroke as well as damaging your skin, which could result in skin cancer.
The hottest parts of the day are between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.; minimizing your outdoor activities during these hours can really protect you from the suns damage.
But if you do decide to venture out, make sure you are as protected as you can be. Protection includes a shirt, a hat, sunglasses to protect your eyes and sunscreen.
“Heat-related illness can occur with exertion or without,” Dr. Jordan said, “risks factors for developing heat-related illness (spectrum of heat cramps, and heat stroke) are many and we should be alert to these for ourselves and those around us.”
“Our temperatures have not been that high lately, that is coming though, but with the high humidity we all are at increased risks of Heat-Related Illness,” he stressed.
Dr. Jordan gives some tips on what to look for:
- lack of acclimatization
- poor physical fitness.
He also added that there are certain medications, recreational drugs, and alcohol which can also increase your susceptibility to heat exhaustion.
“As core body temperature rises we may develop lightheadedness, weakness, profuse sweating, headache, abdominal cramps with nausea vomiting and or diarrhea,” he said, “persistent muscle cramps are also common. If caught early the best treatment is hydration with cold liquids and lying down in shade if possible to cool off. Wetting clothes with cold (even ice)water if severe. If an individual develops seizures, altered consciousness or delirium you should continue to do the above and call 911 as emergent intervention is warranted. The best course for everyone is to be aware of risks, get conditioned before going out in the heat, stay well hydrated and if someone develops symptoms, remove from heat, and treat.”
Young children and the elderly can feel the heat a lot quicker than most people. So this is also a good time to ensure your loved ones in these categories have a nice cool place to sit whether they are indoors or outdoors.
Wearing light colors outside during the summer months is another great tip to ensure you are protecting your skin. The more vivid the color the more protection. That is as long as the clothing is tightly woven, so the UV lights cannot shine through. Materials such as polyester, lycra, nylon, acrylic, and rayon can actually deflect UV rays.