Dog days of July 3 through August 15 are the hottest days of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Contrary to folklore, the sea won’t boil and dogs won’t go mad, but there are a few other things we should watch for, such as:
If you lose more water through sweat than you take in, you could develop heat exhaustion. On a hot day, especially if you are involved in physical activity, don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink. Have water available to drink throughout the day.
What you eat makes a difference. With each drop of sweat, your body loses potassium and magnesium, which are vital to the body’s temperature regulating system. To replace these nutrients, eat fruit and drink fruit juices. Other sources are beans, potatoes, spinach and tuna.
Doctors at Texas A&M University say there is no need to consume extra salt when you sweat. Salt tablets can be dangerous for some people, and most people get more than enough salt in their diets.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include pale or red, clammy skin, dizziness and disorientation. Rapid shallow breathing, fast heartbeat, headache and vomiting may occur.
The victim should be taken to a cool location, placed on his back with feet raised about 12 inches, given water and sponged to cool the body.
Slow down and pace yourself when biking, running or working in hot weather. Wear loose, light-colored clothing and stay in the shade as much as possible.
Long hours in scorching hot weather can bring on heat stroke, especially if a person is dehydrated, diabetic, overweight or has a sleep disorder. This is a life-threatening condition where body temperatures can rise dangerously. It requires immediate medical attention.
While waiting for medics, apply cold compresses to the head. Sponge the victim with warm water and alcohol, especially the underarms, groin and head where heat is concentrated.
Cool the body with a fan and give cool water to drink. Never give coffee or alcoholic drinks to someone with heat stroke or suspected heat stroke.