By Richard Harkness
RISMEDIA, July 10, 2008-(MCT)-Q: Would you please alert your readers to the dangers of hot weather, especially for the elderly?
A: In hot conditions, the production and evaporation of sweat is the body’s way of cooling itself. Prolonged sweating without fluid replacement can lead to dehydration and possible heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Here are 9 hot weather self-defense tips to ensure a safe summer:
– Drink plenty of water and juices. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
– Bathe or shower frequently using cool water.
– Wear light-weight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
– Avoid vigorous activity during the hottest part of the day.
– Wear a hat or use an umbrella when out in the sun.
– Use fans and air conditioners liberally. If none are available, keep shades down or curtains drawn during the day and windows open at night.
– Visit air-conditioned places such as shopping malls and libraries but avoid overcrowded areas.
– Avoid eating heavy meals and limit oven use.
– Get medical advice if you have a chronic disease or take prescription medications.
The danger escalates during a heat wave that lasts several days, so be especially vigilant then.
Richard Harkness is a consultant pharmacist, natural medicines specialist and author of eight published books.
© 2008, The Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.).
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.