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Child's Healthcare

Heat Related Illnesses

Did you know that heat related illnesses can become life threatening very soon, if not dealt with immediately? Such illnesses often occur in situations of extreme heat, where temperatures rise above 40 degrees F. Here's how you can protect yourself from the heat this summer.

Drink Water

The body gets dehydrated very quickly in the summer, and severe dehydration can be deadly. The best counter to dehydration is prevention. Make sure you drink enough water. Don't drink water only when you are thirsty; that the body tells you that it is thirsty only when it is already devoid of fluids. The best way to ensure that the body has enough fluids is the 'urine test'. Everytime you pass urine, take a look at the colour. If your urine is deep yellow, it means you are not drinking enough water. If your urine is clear or very light in colour, your body has suffecient water.

Everywhere you go, carry a bottle of water with you and keep sipping at regular intervals through the day.

Avoid Diuretics

If you are already feeling a little low due to the heat, avoid alcohol and coffee, as they are diuretic and will only worsen the situation. No matter how tempted you are to drink glass after glass of cold coffee, avoid doing so. Keep a bottle of water by your side, and drink a little water every fifteen minutes. You could also add salt to the water. Lie down at once in a cool room, and keep a fan blowing cool air by your side. Air conditioning at home is a good prevention against heat related illnesses and lack of access to an air conditioned environment can increase your chances of developing heat related illnesses.

Eat Cooling Fluids

Substitute your daily cup or glass of coffee with lassi (buttermilk) every morning for breakfast. Eat cooling foods like curds. Make sure you eat well in the summer, even though you may not be very hungry due to the extreme heat, as heat has a tendency to affect the stomach if your defences are weak.

Wear Lighter Clothing

The kind of clothing you have on also matters. Wear less clothing, and wear light cottons and linen. The heavier your clothing, the more difficult it is for your body to lose heat.

Exercise With Care

In hot, humid weather, you lose a lot of fluids by perspiration. However, due to the intense humidity, this perspiration does not evaporate, with the result that the body is unable to cool off. This increases the risk of heat related injury. One way to counter this would be to take a cool shower after a workout, or to work out in an air conditioned environment.

Counter Heat Cramps

Heat cramps are common in the summer. This happens due to excessive heat, and often occurs in the legs or abdomen. As a result, people tend to believe the cramps are caused by something they ate, while they are actually caused due to the heat. Counter this by resting in a cool environment and by keeping an ice pack on the cramped are.

Link to related articles : Heat Stroke

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