CLEVELAND – The summer temperatures are heating up, which means it’s important to make sure you’re cooling down. Otherwise you could risk getting dehydrated, or even more dangerous, having a heat stroke.
“Heat stroke can be life-threatening. The core body temperature rises. People are not sweating anymore. They can have loss of consciousness at the extreme and can have serious derangements both from a metabolic point of view and the body’s functioning,” explained Baruch, Fertel, MD, emergency medicine physician for Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Fertel said to help stay cool, make sure you are taking frequent breaks from the sun by going indoors or to a shaded area, and of course drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Symptoms of dehydration can include getting a headache, feeling dizzy, tired, having a dry mouth, flushed skin and dark-colored urine.
Everyone is susceptible to dehydration, but Dr. Fertel said children and older people are generally more at risk. They can’t always advocate for themselves, which is why their caretakers need to keep a close eye on them in this weather.
“The younger children may not be able to articulate that they’re thirsty, so it’s important to make sure they’re hydrated. You know you leave them in a carriage and you put them on the side and you don’t realize that they can dehydrate. Same is true with older folks. Their thirst mechanism may not be as intact and they may not know that they need to drink,” said Dr. Fertel.
Aside from heat stroke, dehydration can also contribute to kidney stones and kidney failure.
If you notice someone is in severe distress, be sure to call 911 or get them to a hospital right away.