Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.

5.21.2010

Tip of the Week: Keep It Cool

5.21.2010
School’s out and summer is here! After all those days spent cramped up in the library we all long to head outside and spend our summer days enjoying the sunny weather. While the season brings the promise of freedom and fun, it also brings heat and humidity. The risk for heat-related deaths and illness is accordingly highest during the next few months. During times of extreme heat the body is unable to cool itself properly and may lead to rapid increase in body temperature, damaging the brain and other organs. Certain factors increase one’s risk for heat-induced illness: obesity, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, sunburn and alcohol use. Prolonged sun exposure can lead to severe burns, exhaustion and even stroke.

It is important to remember that heat-related illnesses are preventable! Of course you want to enjoy the season but summertime activities need to be balanced with measures that help cool the body and avoid heat-illnesses. Taking some of these simple precautions against the harmful effects of the sun can keep you having a safe and enjoyable summer season!

Tips To Protect Your Health During The Heat:
  • Drink Plenty of Fluids: Increase your fluid intake regardless of your activity level, don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink
  • Wear Sunscreen: Sunburn inhibits your body’s cooling processes, slap on broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 protection 30 minutes before heading out
  • Schedule Outdoor Activities: Plan exercise and activities to the morning and evening hours when the sun is not at full strength
  • Pace Yourself: Start all activities slowly and build up your pace gradually, if you find yourself becoming faint, weak or gasping for breath stop activity and get into a cool area
  • Use a Buddy System: When outdoors in extreme monitor those around you for heat-related warning signs and have your friends do the same for you

For more information, click here.

Submitted by Ashley White, PEEPs member

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