Keep cool with these hot tips

KANE COUNTY—The Kane County Health Department reminds residents of important health tips they can follow to ensure their time spent outdoors this summer is safe and comfortable. Here are some tips from the Health Department to stay cool:

• Always wear lightweight clothing that has plenty of ventilation—the fabric should “breathe.” Stay well hydrated; always ensure you consume an abundance of liquids in the summer.

• Exercise or schedule other strenuous activities when the heat and humidity are lowest, usually early morning and late evenings.

• Rest in cool, shady places frequently. If you’re hot, go cool down—get indoors, drink cool liquids, enjoy the air conditioning for a few minutes, or take a cold shower.

• Eat light, heart-healthy foods to replace minerals and nutrients that may be lost. Give your heart a little extra break during the summer months with a healthy diet.

• Watch out for those at greatest risk, such as very young children, the elderly and persons who may have health conditions. Certain medications may put you at greater risk of heat-related illnesses, so be aware of how medications may interact with the heat.

Be on the lookout for these potential risk factors when spending any time outside during periods of extreme heat and humidity:

• Dehydration – Dehydration occurs when more water leaves the body that you put back in. Stay well hydrated throughout the day and drink extra fluids when exercising or simply being outdoors on hot days.

• Heat exhaustion – Symptoms may include headaches, weak pulse, rapid pulse, excessive sweating, dizziness and, in some instances, fainting, clammy skin, chills, cold, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps or very fast or very shallow breathing. If you suspect you have heat exhaustion, take action immediately to cool down. If possible, immerse yourself in cool water.

• Heat stroke – Unlike heat exhaustion, victims of heat stroke have warm skin that is dry to the touch because they’ve sweated out all their extra water, leaving the body’s natural cooling system without a key cool-down mechanism. High fever, severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, and a strong, rapid pulse all accompany heat stroke. Victims may become confused and can lose consciousness. Heat stroke is a very serious condition. Cool the victim and seek immediate medical assistance. More information about the effects of heat on your health is available by visiting the heat page on the Kane County Health Department website.