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How to Avoid Heat Exhaustion

by Maia Muttoo Nov 19, 2018

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In the Caribbean, we spend a lot of time in the sun.

Whether you’re working outside, competing in a sporting event, or lounging on the beach, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to avoid heat exhaustion.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea.
  • Pale skin.
  • Rapid heartbeat.

Here’s how you can prevent unwelcome symptoms of excess sun exposure.

Wear cool, lightweight clothing

Wearing tight or warm clothing makes it harder for your body to cool itself down. If you know you’ll be in the sun, opt for cool, lightweight clothing that allows your skin to breathe. If your activity allows, top your outfit off with a hat and sunglasses for added protection.

Apply sunscreen

Always apply sunscreen to protect your skin. Choose one that is at least 15 SPF and apply generously, especially toward midday when ultraviolet rays are at their strongest. Sunburn affects the body’s ability to cool down, so avoiding it is the key to combating heat exhaustion.

Hydrate

Many heat exhaustion cases are due to dehydration. Staying hydrated is always important, but it’s crucial if you’ll be spending time outside. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps your body to sweat and maintain regulated body temperature.

Read medication labels

Some medications affect the body’s ability to stay hydrated and dissipate heat. Always read the labels to avoid illness.

Never underestimate the power of the sun. Be prepared so you can enjoy your day in the rays instead of falling ill. Remember, if you are experiencing a bout of heat exhaustion, rest in a cool place, hydrate, and consult a licensed medical practitioner for treatment advice if symptoms continue.

Sources: Mayo Clinic, Web MD, and Cleveland Clinic