With the spring season upon us and summer on the horizon, many of us are spending more time under the sun. If any of your outdoor sun-filled activities include alcoholic beverages, it may be a good idea to remember the risks of dehydration and heat stroke.
Alcohol lowers the body’s tolerance for heat, acts as a diuretic, and can result in dehydration. A dehydrated body is more prone to heat exhaustion, which can lead to heat stroke if not taken care of. Some symptoms of heat stroke to keep in mind include:
Sudden dizziness, weakness or faintness
Little or no sweating
Rapid, weak pulse
Rapid, shallow breathing
Hot, red and dry skin
High body temperature (typically 102 degrees or higher)
Vomiting and muscle cramps
If cutting out the use of alcohol while in the sun isn't an option, here are some safer ways to drink and enjoy the outdoors:
Staying hydrated with water (try alternating water with your other beverage choices)
Staying energized with light foods
Limiting heat exposure
Using sunscreen and wearing light weight/light color clothing
If you think you may be suffering from heat exhaustion or stroke, or see a fellow student who appears to be at risk, use these easy steps!
1. Lower body temperature
- Get out of the heat into a cool environment.
- Take a cold shower, rinse off with a cold hose, or try cool compresses to lower body temperature.
- If conscious, drink a cool non-alcoholic beverage.
- Avoid physical activity for the rest of the day.
- Give Tylenol for a mild head ache.
4. Seek health professional
- Since untreated heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, see a doctor if symptoms get worse or last longer than one hour, or if there is nausea/vomiting.
- Visit the Health and Wellness Center for an appointment or more information.
Being educated on the risk factors and safe ways to drink in the sun can help everyone stay healthy and happy during these warmer months! For more information and free water bottles and sunscreen, visit the PEEPs on the Levering Quad this Monday from 12-2pm!