Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Summer Is Here: Here's Some Timely Tips To Beat This Week's Heat

Enjoy the summer folks.  Beat the heat and stay the night in a cool air conditioned room at the Motel. 

Mariner Motel Woodstock ON
T: 519 537 5332

Summer has finally arrived! While a welcome relief to some after the long winter and soggy spring, the five-day forecast for soaring temperatures and high humidity poses potential health risks, especially to the elderly.
When air temperatures rise, older adults are at risk because aging reduces the body's ability to cool off. Normal aging reduces the effectiveness of the body's defense mechanisms by raising the temperature threshold for sweating, thirst and heat-related discomfort. This situation can result in the occurrence of heat illness.
According to David Pelini, M.D., chairman of the Fairview Health System's Department of Emergency Medicine and Richard Treat, M.D., director of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care at Fairview Health System, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are a threat to older people when they are exposed to excessive heat. "Heat stroke is specially dangerous and can even be life-threatening," they caution.
Last summer in Chicago alone, 733 people died of heat-related causes such as heat stroke and heart attack. Three-quarters of the victims were over age 65. "Heat-related deaths are especially tragic because they can nearly always be prevented. But excessive heat can impair judgment and cause confusion, so precautions must be taken before you get too hot," they say.
Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat-related illness. Symptoms of heat stroke include confusion, combativeness, strong rapid pulse, dry skin or lack of sweating and possible delirium or coma. "Individuals experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention at a hospital emergency department," recommends Pelini. Onset can be rapid, with progression to a life-threatening state within minutes.
Heat exhaustion is a less severs form of heat injury and occurs when the body is too hot. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include excessive thirst, profuse sweating, muscle cramps, dizziness, vomiting, fatigue and fainting. The skin usually feels cold and clammy to the touch. To help avoid heat-related illness and survive the heat this summer, Pelini offers these tips:
  • Drink plenty of liquids, even if you're not thirsty.
  • Dress in light-weight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Avoid midday heat and do not engage in vigorous activity during the hottest part of the day, between noon and 4 p.m.
  • Wear a hat or umbrella to block the sun's rays.
  • Eat light. Avoid hot, heavy meals and opt for foods high in water content: fruits, salads and soups.
  • Use air conditioning. If the temperature is 90 degrees F or above, fans alone usually cannot protect against heat-related illness. If you don't have a unit at home, you can benefit by spending time at the movies, library or in any air-conditioned building.
  • Take baths and showers. Because water conducts heat away from the body, bathing in tepid water is a good cooling technique.
Although older individuals need to be careful in hot weather, they can still enjoy a happy and healthy summer by taking a few extra safety precautions, according to Drs. Pelini and Treat.

Mariner Motel Woodstock ON
T: 519 537 5332

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