It’s time to say farewell to spring, as the blazing heat of summer will soon be upon Maryland residents. Although many of us prefer this type of weather to the bitter cold of winter, the heat can pose significant risks to everyone, especially aging adults who are more easily affected by the negative side effects that exposure to high temperatures can cause. Check out these helpful tips for staying healthy as a senior and ensuring the safety of your aging friends and family members while enjoying time outdoors this summer!
Summer Safety Tip #1: Consult with Your Doctor
Be sure to see your doctor for a check-up before the summer season gets too hot. Ensuring they are up to date on your current health conditions will allow them to give you helpful medical advice for when you spend time outdoors this season that is specific to meeting your individual needs.
Summer Safety Tip #2: Protect Yourself
There are many ways you can protect yourself from the summer heat by utilizing accessories including:
- Sun hats
- Handheld cooling fan
- Cooling towel
- Insect repellent
Summer Safety Tip #3: Hydrate
Dehydration can occur relatively easily even when you don’t spend time outdoors, but hot temperatures are known to easily cause dehydration, even if you’re only outdoors for a short while. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to maintain proper hydration levels, and never head outside without a couple of water bottles in tow.
Summer Safety Tip #4: Know the Symptoms of Heat-Related Medical Conditions
Hyperthermia, in contrast to hypothermia, is a condition where the body temperature rises well above normal and can lead to a life-threatening heat stroke if not attended to right away. Take the time to read and remember these common symptoms to better identify heat exhaustion in yourself and others and prevent a stroke:
- Intense thirst
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle cramps
- Heavy sweating
- Fast, weak pulse
- Mental fatigue
- Swelling of extremities
Summer Safety Tip #5: Communicate
If you’re outside enjoying the gorgeous summer weather but start to feel uncomfortable or ill, always speak up! Others may not be aware of the warning signs of heat exhaustion as you now are and won’t always be able to notice symptoms unless they are visibly noticeable. If you are planning to attend an outdoor event or simply take a walk outdoors, bring a friend or family member along with you so that they can assist you if you begin to feel sick.