We welcome summer by celebrating our favorite time of the year outdoors with cookouts and picnics, vacations, and getting the chance to do some of our favorite outdoor activities like biking, swimming and gardening. But being in the sun all day can have its consequences if we don’t protect ourselves from sun burn or heat stroke. As a result, we find our days of fun in the sun ending with trips to the emergency room. That’s why we stress the importance of staying hydrated while you’re doing your favorite activities. And guess what? That same advice applies to our field crews, who work outdoors all day, to ensure they are as safe as possible from the weather and are hydrating themselves!
Staying hydrated is one of the best, and easiest, ways we can stay safe from heat stroke and exhaustion as water helps to keep our bodies cool.
To ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time while doing your favorite outdoor activities, we wanted to share these important tips with you:
1. Stay hydrated. Drink enough water to prevent thirst. You should drink plenty of water before, during and after you exercise or perform low-to-moderate activities.
2. Monitor your fluid loss by checking your urine color to ensure you are well hydrated. A pale yellowish color is good while a dark yellow and cloudy color is an indication of dehydration.
3. Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing so your skin stays cool.
4. Take breaks. Avoid overexposing yourself to the extreme heat for long periods of the day. Take a break by finding a cool, shady area to give your body a chance to cool down.
5. Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks before a long day of working outside.
6. Keep blinds and curtains closed from morning until late afternoon to block direct heat from sunlight.
7. During the hottest hours of the day, stay indoors in an air conditioned home or building. If no air conditioning is available, use a fan. If using a fan, don’t place it directly in the window because it will blow hot air inside. Instead, try placing the fan so it blows air into the room and out the window.
8. Visit your local rec center, neighborhood pool or one of the City of Cleveland spray basins to cool off.
For more information on how to stay cool during the summer months, check with your local health department or family physician.