Last time we talked about signs and symptoms of dehydration, but the best treatment for dehydration is prevention. Easier said than done in the climbing summer heat of 80-90 degrees, we know. So here are 6 tips for preventing dehydration and staying safe in the sunshine.
Replace fluids at the same rate you are expending them. Don’t wait until you are thirsty. Drink water consistently throughout the day. If you are sweating a lot, then drink the appropriate amount of water to match.
Wear light-colored, thin fabrics and loosely fitting clothing. The clothes you wear have a great effect on your overall body temperature, especially in direct sunlight. Lighter clothing doesn’t absorb as much heat and looser clothing allows air to pass along the skin and carry away heat.
Avoid caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic, and actually absorbs moisture. Drinking caffeinated drinks can contribute to dehydration, because while it is fluid intake for the body it is pulling water out of your system.
Eat fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables have high water content naturally and are easy to digest, reducing the energy your body is expending. When you fill your diet with these foods, you’re getting good nutrients while also hydrating yourself.
Take breaks from direct sunlight and heat. Break up your heat exposure with stints of cooler temperatures. Get inside or in the shade for lunch and water breaks. Allow your body to cool, instead of only increase in temperature over time.
Use a fan, cold washcloth or mister. Find ways to bring down your body temperature or keep it at a lower base level throughout the day. The lower your body temperature, the less fluid loss, and a decreased risk for dehydration.
While extended heat exposure is likely unavoidable, taking tips like these to the job site will help you take preventative action to protect yourself and others from dehydration and other heat-related health risks. These tips may require extra effort, but the benefit will far outweigh the cost throughout the hot days ahead.
For more tips on safe work, visit the ResponseAble Blog!