Hydration is important any time of the year but becomes more critical during the summer months. You become at risk for dehydration once the body loses water content and essential body salts such as sodium and potassium. Drinking fluids before starting outside activities is important so you’re sufficiently hydrated. Once you feel thirsty you are already behind in hydration levels. Remember your hat, sunglasses, sunblock and lip sunscreen, and try to limit strenuous activities to the morning hours.
In cases of mild dehydration, simple rehydration is recommended by drinking fluids. Many sports drinks on the market effectively restore body fluids, electrolytes and salt. Dehydration can cause blood pressure fluctuations and also affect your heart.
Any case of serious dehydration should be treated as a medical emergency and immediate action should be taken.
Heatstroke is a condition caused by your body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. The most serious form of heatstroke can occur if your body temperature rises to 104 F (40 C) or higher. Heatstroke requires emergency treatment. Untreated heatstroke can quickly damage your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. The damage worsens the longer treatment is delayed, increasing your risk of serious complications or death.
There are some immediate first aid measures you can take while waiting for emergency help to arrive:
- Get the person to a shaded area and slightly elevate their feet.
- Remove or open clothing and gently apply cooling water to the skin followed by fanning.
- Apply ice packs to the groin and armpit area if possible.
If you are staying at Ocean Reef this summer, be sure to have hurricane supplies and a plan in place. Keep a reminder list of items you need to take with you in the event of an evacuation order. Evacuation for a storm is stressful and it’s easy to forget important papers, medicine or other needed items. Consider taking any valuables you don’t want to have lost or damaged in a storm.
If you have health conditions that warrant help during an evacuation, please let Public Safety know you are planning on being in residence this summer. Monroe County also maintains a Special Needs Registry for those who meet the criteria.
The Medical Center’s providers and staff wish you a healthy and safe summer!