5 Life-Saving Things to Know Amid Record-Breaking Heat Waves

Summer officially starts on the 20th of June, but we’ve already experienced heat wave after heat wave in the northern hemisphere. Ouch. Every year, there seems to be a new record-breaking heat wave coming to make every summer the hottest. These are life-saving things to know amid these hot temperatures

Every year, thousands of people suffer and even die due to extreme heat. Make sure you are keeping yourself and your family safe this summer.

5 Life-Saving Things to Know Amid Record-Breaking

Yet again, dangerous heat waves are breaking records and bringing more worry across the globe. This is particularly true for areas along the equator, which tend to receive more direct and harsh sunlight in summer. Millions of people live in areas that are expected to have dangerous levels of heat. These life-saving things to know amid these record-breaking temperatures can be the difference between health and total deterioration.

1. Water is Life

In extreme temperatures, it is common for us to lose water through perspiration. Our skin releases sweat in order for us to cool off, but this is the main cause of dehydration. Dehydration is very dangerous and can cause issues in the body such as head fog, muscle spasms, migraines, dry mouth, and even organ failure in extreme cases. 

Remember to stay hydrated if you are going to be doing anything outside. Try to avoid overly sweet beverages or drinks that are too cold. You want to aim for a drink that has electrolytes and is closer to room temperature in order for your body to process it with more ease.

2. SPF can Save Your Life

This is not an exaggeration. Adequate SPF is absolutely vital in the summer, as shown here in this article detailing the importance of sunblock. Sunscreen is the only line of defense that bare skin has against UV radiation. SPF can protect your cells and can even help prevent DNA damage. If you’re exposed to too much UV radiation, it can lead to sunburn, collagen deterioration, or even skin cancer. 

Make sure you are using SPF 50 or greater and applying it daily. Try to reapply it if you are going to be out in the sun for longer than 2 hours and try to find a formula that is waterproof and sweat resistant.

3. Cover Up (But Only Like This)

Another way to block UV damage and radiation is to cover up. However, due to the rising temperatures and heat, it can seem counterintuitive to layer on more clothing when all you want to do is cool down. That is why you should cover up with light clothing that breathes. This includes fabrics such as linen and cotton. Darker colored clothing tends to absorb more heat than light colored clothing.

Synthetic fabrics such as polyester tend to trap heat inside and can make it hard to cool off. These synthetic fabrics also tend to sap the skin of our natural oils and hydration. All of these factors combined mean we are more likely to become susceptible to heat-related issues if we wear polyester than if we wear something like cotton. You can also try to use other protective clothing like some glasses and hats in order to avoid the sun’s harsh rays.

4. Avoid it if You Can

At the end of the day, the smartest thing to do is to avoid the sun and heat. This means you want to try to stay inside between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. This is when the sun is at its peak. Try to stay indoors if you can. If you have to be outside at this time, make sure you are trying to stay in the shade and use SPF and protective clothing.

But what about vitamin D you ask? Well, as shown here, It’s also important to get vitamin D. It is a nutrient that is essential to many processes in the body and while you can eat it in some foods, your own body should produce it. Therefore, you’ll want to be exposed to a bit of sun very early in the morning or much later in the evening. Temperatures should not be as high and you’ll still be able to get in some vitamin D.

5. Children Experience Heat Differently

This is vital for anyone with children. Kids will experience heat differently. They react differently to higher temperatures and can be more severely affected. For example, infants cannot sweat in the same way adults do. We need to take better care of our children through these record-breaking temperatures. This includes watching out for signs of heat-related illness, of which more information can be found at the end of this article. Never leave kids in parked cars, even if the windows are rolled down, and make sure they are drinking enough fluids. Dress them in light-colored clothes as well to further avoid an accumulation of heat. 

While it’s not summer yet, outdoor temperatures are rising and breaking records already. Summers will get hotter, and the protection of our children should be first and foremost.

Signs of Heat-Related Illness

At the end of the day, anything can happen and there’s always a potential of risks associated with being outside or living in these areas with extreme heat. Here are some symptoms for you to watch out for for your own health and that of your family. 

  • Rapid heart rate 
  • Sweating excessively 
  • Cramps 
  • Thirst 
  • Headaches
  • Dizzyness
  • Confusion
  • Chills 
  • Fainting
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Blisters

The Takeaway

While we need vitamin D, too much sun is life-threatening. These are life-saving things to know amid the record-breaking temperatures and heat waves that are coming. It’s not even the summer yet, and we need to be careful as it could only get hotter.

Remember that health comes from within. Eat healthy, nutritious meals, exercise when you can, and take care of your mental health. Daily habits become the building blocks for emotional, mental, and physical health. Take care of your gut health too! Learn everything you need to know about gut microbiota today for free here.

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