By Lina Younes
Summer has started in earnest. Record high temperatures are blanketing the country, especially the eastern states. What is one of the most important things to do to survive this extreme heat? Drink water to stay hydrated!
The elderly, children and pregnant women are most susceptible to extreme temperatures. As part of the aging process, adults in their golden years tend to lose their sense of thirst. Thus, they are at a greater risk of dehydration and they are more vulnerable to environmental impacts. On the other hand, children can easily become dehydrate by outdoor activities because they lack the better judgement to recognize some of the signs of dehydration.
In children, what are some of these signs?
- Decreased physical activity
- Lack of tears when crying
- Dry mouth
- Irritability and fussiness
If you don’t drink cool water regularly, dehydration can lead to heat stroke which can be life-threatening and requires immediate, medical attention.
What are some of the signs of heat stroke both in kids as in adults?
- Skin is flushed, red and dry
- Little or no sweating
- Deep breathing
- Dizziness, headache, and/or fatigue
- Less urine is produced, of a dark yellowish color
- Confusion, loss of consciousness
- In adults, hallucinations and aggression
In addition to staying hydrated, here are some other tips to survive the summer heat:
- Stay in the shade
- If you have to work outside, try to do so in the early hours before the heat hits its peak
- Dress appropriately with loose, light-weight clothing and light colors
So, remember to drink that cool water often. Enjoy the summer and stay safe. Do you have any recommendations on how to survive the heat?
About the author: Lina Younes is the Multilingual Outreach and Communications Liaison for EPA. Among her duties, she’s responsible for outreach to Hispanic organizations and media. She spearheaded the team that recently launched EPA’s new Spanish website, www.epa.gov/espanol . She manages EPA’s social media efforts in Spanish. She’s currently the editor of EPA’s new Spanish blog, Conversando acerca de nuestro medio ambiente. Prior to joining the agency, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and an international radio broadcaster. She has held other positions in and out of the Federal Government.