By Melanie Forti
Director of Health & Safety Programs
Summer is here, and so is the heat! Now that our commute is just a bit longer than before, please take in consideration the following tips to prevent suffering from heat stress or a heat-related illness:
- Drink more water, regardless of your activity level
- Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink, by then you are already dehydrate
- Avoid drinking alcohol, caffeinated drinks or sodas –these may cause you to lose more body fluid than usual
- Avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- On your way to work, walk on the sidewalk that has more shade.
- Stay indoors and stay in an air-conditioned place if possible
- Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness
- Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off
If you must be out in the heat:
- Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours
- Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink each hour at least 2-4 glasses of water
- Try to rest often in shady areas
- Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses
- Put on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).