Beat the heat: Stay cool while outdoors

July 18, 2017  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources,

The Ann Arbor art fair is up and running! That means many of you may be spending hours outside in the hot summer sun.

If you’ll be attending the fair, working outdoors, or just taking advantage of the warm weather around the area, make sure you take care of yourself with these cool tips:

  • Water is essential: Drink water. Lots of water. Staying hydrated is vital when you’re out in the sun. And be sure to avoid alcohol or sugary and caffeinated drinks.
  • Cover up: The sun emits harmful ultraviolet light, which can increase your risk of skin cancer. Wear a broad-brimmed hat and sun-protective clothing, and always wear at least an SPF-30 broad-spectrum sunscreen. “It’s imperative to always keep something between you and the sun, no matter what that ‘something’ is,” said Christopher Bichakjian, M.D. professor of dermatology. Click here to learn more tips from Bichakjian to help you protect your skin.
  • Look out for warning signs of heat-related illness: Many people end up in the emergency room with heat-related illnesses because they disregarded early signs of trouble. If you or someone around you experiences nausea, dizziness or headaches, seek help. “It can sneak up on you,” said Brad Uren, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine. “You’re walking around having a good time and all of a sudden you don’t feel well.” Frequent breaks in the shade or air conditioning can help your body cool down and avoid these symptoms.
  • Stay calm when assisting others: Older adults, children and those with chronic conditions tend to be most vulnerable while outdoors. If somebody around you appears to be suffering from the heat, stay calm and give them assistance. Move them into a shaded or air-conditioned area, give them water to drink and apply wet towels to their skin.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help: The art fair has medical teams on the premises along with a number of first-aid stations. Ask for help if you or a companion are not feeling well.

If left untreated, dehydration and heat exhaustion can result in heat stroke. Symptoms include rapid breathing, nausea, fainting and a lack of sweating despite the heat.

If you work in valet, facilities, engineering or any other position that requires you to be outdoors, make sure you follow the tips above to stay cool. If you or a colleague displays any symptoms of heat-related illnesses, seek medical help immediately.

As always, the best way to treat heat-related illnesses is to prevent them in the first place.

Stay safe, hydrate and enjoy the summer!