It’s HOT!!! Some safety tips and precautions for Staying Safe in Hot Weather
Working in hot weather puts extra stress on your body and if you don’t take care when working in the heat, you risk serious illness. To help cool itself, your body sends more blood to circulate through your skin. This leaves less blood for your muscles, which in turn increases your heart rate. If the humidity also is high, your body faces added stress because sweat doesn’t readily evaporate from your skin. That pushes your body temperature even higher. Under normal conditions, your skin, blood vessels and perspiration level adjust to the heat. But these natural cooling systems may fail if you’re exposed to high temperatures and humidity for too long and you sweat heavily and you don’t drink enough fluids. The result may be a heat-related illness from mild to worsening if left untreated. Heat cramps. Heat cramps are painful muscle contractions, mainly affecting the calves, quadriceps and abdominals. Affected muscles may feel firm to the touch. Your body temperature may be normal.Heat exhaustion. With heat exhaustion, your body temperature rises as high as 104 degrees and you may experience nausea, vomiting, headache, fainting, weakness and cold, clammy skin. If left untreated, this can lead to heatstroke. Heatstroke is a life-threatening emergency condition that occurs when your body temperature is greater than 104 degrees. Your skin may be hot, but your body may stop sweating. You may develop confusion and irritability. You need immediate medical attention to prevent brain damage, organ failure or even death.
Pay attention to warning signs During hot-weather activities, watch for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness. If you ignore these symptoms, your condition can worsen, resulting in a medical emergency. Symptoms include: Muscle cramps, Nausea or vomiting, Weakness, Headache Dizziness, Confusion If you develop any of these symptoms, you must lower your body temperature and get hydrated. Stop working immediately and get out of the heat. If possible, have someone stay with you who can help monitor your condition. Remove extra clothing or safety equipment. Drink fluids — water or a sports drink—avoid caffeine and sugary drinks. If possible, fan your body or wet down your body with cool water. If you don’t feel better within 30 minutes, contact your doctor. If you have signs of heatstroke, seek immediate medical help. Once you’ve had heatstroke, you’re at a higher risk of getting a heat illness again in the future.
When you work in hot weather, keep these precautions in mind:
Know the temperature. you will be working in for the duration of your planned outdoor activity.
Get acclimated.. If you’re used to working indoors or in cooler weather, take it easy at first when you work in the heat. As your body adapts to the heat over the course of one to two weeks, gradually increase the length and intensity of your activity.
Know your fitness level. If you’re unfit or new to hard work, be extra cautious when working out in the heat. Your body may have a lower tolerance to the heat. Reduce your activity intensity and take frequent breaks.
Drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration is a key factor in heat illness. Help your body sweat and cool down by staying well hydrated with water. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. If you plan to exercise intensely or for longer than one hour, consider a sports drink instead of water. Sports drinks can replace the sodium, chloride and potassium you lose through sweating. Avoid alcoholic drinks because they can actually promote fluid loss.
Dress appropriately. Lightweight, loose fitting clothing helps sweat evaporate and keeps you cooler. Avoid dark colors, which can absorb heat. If possible, wear a light-colored, wide-brimmed hat.
Wear sunscreen. A sunburn decreases your body’s ability to cool itself.
Understand your medical risks. Certain medical conditions or medications can increase your risk of a heat-related illness. If you plan to exercise in the heat, talk to your doctor about precautions. Heat-related illnesses are largely preventable, by taking simple precautions—when the heat is on.
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