Summertime – the time of year we have all been waiting for! It is time for warm weather, cookouts and picnics, vacations, and getting the chance to do some of our favorite outdoor activities like biking, swimming and gardening. It’s all fun and games…until…we realize we’ve been in the sun all day without protecting ourselves from sun burn or heat stroke. As a result, we find our days of fun in the sun ending with trips to the emergency room. That’s why we make it a point to ensure our field crews are as safe as possible from the weather, and what’s the key message we stress to them over and over again? You guessed it – DRINK WATER!!!
Reminding our crews to stay hydrated is one of the best, and easiest, ways we can help keep them safe from heat stroke and exhaustion. Water helps to keep their bodies cool so they work safely and go home healthy at the end of the day.
To ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time while doing your favorite outdoor activities, we thought it would be good to share these important tips for summertime fun time:
1. Stay hydrated. Drink enough water to prevent thirst. You should drink plenty of water before, during and after you exercise or perform low-to-moderate activities.
2. Monitor your fluid loss by checking your urine color to ensure you are well hydrated. A pale yellowish color is good while a dark yellow and cloudy color is an indication of dehydration.
3. Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing so your skin stays cool.
4. Take breaks. Avoid overexposing yourself to the extreme heat for long periods of the day. Take a break by finding a cool, shady area to give your body a chance to cool down.
5. Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks before a long day of working outside.
6. Keep blinds and curtains closed from morning until late afternoon to block direct heat from sunlight.
7. During the hottest hours of the day, stay indoors in an air conditioned home or building. If no air conditioning is available, use a fan. If using a fan, don’t place it directly in the window because it will blow hot air inside. Instead, try placing the fan so it blows air into the room and out the window.
8. Visit your local rec center, neighborhood pool or one of the City of Cleveland spray basins to cool off.
For more information on ways to stay cool during the summer months, check with your local health department or family physician.