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Heat Safety Tips

As the warm weather settles in to stay awhile, outdoor chores become part of our routine again. Construction workers, lawn services, and other manual laborers return to work under the hot sun. We have to be careful when laboring in the heat for hours, as it can become detrimental to our health. Our bodies cannot withstand extreme temperatures for a long period of time without repercussions. Preparing yourself is the best way to protect yourself.

Prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures can cause heat-related illnesses.

  • Heat Cramps are extremely painful muscle cramps that can cause muscle spasms. Heat cramps occur as a result of excessive sweating, which quickly diminishes the body of electrolytes.
  • Heat Rash occurs when the skin is irritated as a result of excessive sweating. Sweat ducts are clogged, resulting in redness, itchiness, and clusters of pimples.
  • Heat Exhaustion occurs as the body loses salt and water, which causes your body to overheat. Other symptoms include feeling weak or dizzy, excessive sweating and clamminess, and heat cramps.
  • Heat Stroke: occurs when the body can no longer sweat and reaches dangerous temperatures. Symptoms of a heat stroke include high body temperature, chills, confusion, and slurred speech.

The results of a heat-related disorder can be deadly. When working outside in the heat for a long period, try using these safety tips to prevent serious illness.

  • Drink plenty of water before and while you work. Staying hydrated helps your body naturally cool off. Continue drinking water the entire day.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures altogether, when possible. If your yard work can wait, save yourself the dangers of working in the hot sun by waiting for a cooler day.
  • Dress for the occasion by wearing light-colored, loose clothes that cover your skin.
  • Reapply as needed throughout the day.
  • Eat foods that help replenish your electrolytes, such as leafy greens and fruit. According to forconstructionpros.com, eating protein-packed meats causes your body to heat up as it metabolizes the food. Avoid this when working in the sun.
  • Get an earlier start to avoid the powerful heat by midday.

Be mindful of how your body feels as you work. If any warning signs arise, listen to your body, and take it easy. Cool off and drink more water to avoid a heat illness.

By: KayLynn P.

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