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Beat the Heat this Summer!

Here in NC the temps are slowly crawling upward to triple digits, and it looks to be that way until early September. Living in a hot, humid environment day in and out can take its toll out on the best of us. But what about those of us who WORK outdoors for a living and don’t have the option to stay inside?

During these scorching summer months, it’s important to remember to drink plenty of water and look for the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses that run rampant this time of year.

• Heat Cramps – can occur during or after work – mainly in arms, legs and abdomen. Heat cramps are a signal that your body has lost too much sweat from sweating
• Nausea
• Dizziness
• Headaches
• Pale, clammy skin
• Quick pulse
• Low Blood Pressure

Heat stroke is a serious matter and should be taken seriously – if left untreated it can become fatal. Signs to look for are lack of sweat, skin flushed and hot and a rapid heart rate. If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or coworkers, contact a medical professional immediately.

Take precautions to protect yourself from the rising temperatures with these 9 helpful tips!

1. Get used to working outdoors gradually. Take it easy until you are used to the increase in temperature. Roll windows up in vehicles and try not to use the AC on the way to a job. When you arrive on the job site, your body won’t have massive temperature differences to account for.

2. DRINK WATER! Your body loses hydration when you sweat. Drink plenty of water before, during and after being outdoors in the heat. Your body is already dehydrated by the time you notice you are hot and thirsty so make it a point to keep water on you and consume it regularly. Sports drinks are a great option, as they replace needed electrolytes to keep you energized. When working in the heat, avoid alcoholic beverages and sodas, as they can actually cause your body to lose water and salt.

3. Wear protective sun shields (don’t have one? buy it HERE!). Your head absorbs heat directly and moves it to the rest of your body. Wearing a sun shield can help keep your body cool and prevent heat exhaustion.

4. Take frequent rest breaks. Sit in the shade or AC while you replenish your water supply. Move to a cooler area or switch to lighter work if you are unable to take a break.

Taking a break in the shade can lower your body temperature by as much as 15 degrees!

 

5. Wear sun block!

6. If possible, dress in layers so that you can shed layers as the temperature rises.

7. Wear long sleeve shirts. The long shirts act like an evaporation cooler. It causes the wearer to sweat and, when the wind blows onto the wet fabric, cools the wearer down quicker vs. overheating.

8. Keep a cool, wet cloth to use to wipe down after a hot job. Your head, neck and arms are all areas that absorb heat – so a quick wipe down will have you feeling cooler in seconds!

9. Educate yourself about the signs of heat related illness so you can take the proper precautions for yourself and your coworkers.

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