Summer kicked off strong last week with Living Local Camp, where staff and campers experienced just how warm it can get in Corpus Christi. While no one is a stranger to the heat, it’s important not to forget the potential dangers that come with long-term heat exposure. Staying cool is imperative during these Summer months!
Heat related illnesses are a threat while participating in outdoor activities, but especially in these summer months. While the severity of these illnesses range from minor to life-threatening, we can help prevent them with proper planning.
Ways of Staying Cool
- It’s important to make sure you’re re-hydrating your body as you’re sweating outside.
- Taking a few sips every 20 minutes is better than chugging water infrequently.
- Plan how much water to bring before you head out for the day and know where you can refill.
- For moderate activity in moderate temperatures, a general rule is to have a half liter per hour. In this Texas heat, you’ll likely need to plan for more based on the intensity of your activity.
Pack Salty Snacks
- Not only does your body lose water as you sweat, but it also loses small amounts of potassium and sodium which can be replaced through good nutrition.
- Snacks like trail mix and electrolyte drink mixes are good options for replenishing your body.
Wear Lightweight Clothing
- Loose-fitting clothing is going to be more comfortable and breathable, which will help your body cool down more efficiently.
- Dark colored clothing absorbs the sun’s rays, so opt for light-colored items instead.
- Wearing clothing that will cover the most skin, as long as it’s not restricting, will do wonders in keeping you cool!
Wear a Hat
- Hats that cover your face and neck, like a wide brimmed hat, are the best option and will do wonders for keeping you cool!
Take Breaks and Seek Shade
- It’s important to pace yourself and take breaks to prevent overexertion.
- Make sure you’re seeking shade when you can and taking breaks out of the sun.
Cool Down “Hot Zones”
- Place a wet towel, bandana, or cold bottle to the back of your neck, temples, elbow bends, or back of knees.
While heat exhaustion and heat stroke are very real threats when it comes to spending lots of time outside, they can be prevented with the appropriate planning. If you or someone you’re with start experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion, it’s important to act quickly. Acting quickly is the difference between a minor and life-threatening situation.
If you start experiencing symptoms, seek shade and remove restrictive clothing. The next step would be to cool down hot zones and rest until you start feeling better. Although it might be disappointing to cut your journey or activity short, it’s important that you seek treatment immediately.