SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – As things really start to heat up statewide, two organizations are reminding Utahns of precautions to avoid heat-related illness.
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It seems natural that if a person heads for one of Utah’s many trails (or other outdoor activities), they take water with them. However, experts say as temperatures continue to rise, there are a few other things people should keep in mind to stay safe in the excessive heat.
“When you start to experience the first symptoms of heat exhaustion, you need to act immediately,” American Red Cross Utah executive director Michael Smauldon told ABC4.
Smauldon says that during extreme heat, the American Red Cross often helps people who experience heat stroke, many times because they are not experiencing the symptoms of heat exhaustion. He explains that these symptoms include: “Being weak or dizzy. Cold, pale or clammy skin. Nausea, vomiting, rapid weak heartbeat, and muscle cramps.
Smauldon says that by recognizing these symptoms, people can avoid heat stroke, which in severe cases can lead to death. He says that when a person is in the heat and exhibits some of these symptoms, they should stop and find a cool place to rest and hydrate.
The Utah State University Extension Program wants people to know the best ways to stay hydrated all summer long. Kathy Riggs breaks it down into six easy steps in her article: “Ask an Expert: Six Tips to Stay Hydrated This Summer.” “
Its six stages are as follows:
- Know the weather conditions. She says the best time to go out is in the morning or in the evening. However, even though the temperatures are in the 70s, drink some extra water.
2. Consider exercise. Even if it is moderate, you should drink an additional one and a half to two and a half cups of water.
3. Drink lots of fluids. Choose water if and when you can.
4. Avoid caffeine. Drinks rich in caffeine are diuretics and dehydrate the body.
5. Eat foods that are high in water. She says fruits like melon and strawberries are great and help the body hydrate more.
6. Dress sensibly. Wear cotton when possible and avoid dark colors.
Smauldon says that when people are outside for recreation, staying safe in the heat isn’t just what they put inside their bodies. He adds, “Make sure you wear sunscreen when you’re having fun.”
Again, the best way to stay safe during this excess heat is to simply drink more water than you regularly get.