The Dangerous Impacts of Hot Weather on Seniors
Along with fun in the sun there can be risks as well.
Your age can be a contribution but there are ways to stay safe without hiding in your home. The beach, park and overall great outdoors is a wonderful place to spend your time. Older adults have some precautions involving their immune system and chronic injuries along with the increased temperature.
Hypothermia can be cause if the body becomes too hot. This is known as heat exhaustion and can become more serious if it turns into a heat stroke. Remaining in the sun or high humidity for a long period of the day symptoms such dizziness, a faster and weaker pulse, low blood pressure, nausea, headaches and of course lots of sweating can be caused.
Heat Stroke is extra severe and it affects the internal organs. If it isn’t treated, organs can shut down. In this case symptoms such as slurred speech, seizers, vomiting, red skin, heavy breathing and a higher heart rate are probable.
When hurt by such events, get out of the heat immediately for faster cooling. Also, remove some layers of clothing and drink some water or something with electrolytes. If there is no improvement within an hour dial your doctor or 911. A cold bath can also be taken.
Seniors are more sensitive to the sun, and burning can happen quicker. Such an experience is very dangerous and can cause fevers, peeling and blistering. Skin cancer is a high risk as well as getting itchy and feeling chilly. The hottest hours of the day are between 10:00 AM AND 3:00 PM.
Treatments can include over the counter lotions and ointments such as aloe vera or even rubbing the actual plant on your skin.
For sun burn prevention use a high SPF sunscreen and apply it half an hour before heading outside, and re-apply every two hours. Cloudy and windy days can still cause burns. Wear long thin shirts to stay cool while being covered. Hats and sunglasses are also suggested to wear.
During the warmer months, you are sweating more so it is important to increase your water intake. Being dehydrated makes it hard for your organs to function properly and can be noticed from headaches, muscle cramps, dark and little urination, and being thirsty with a dry mouth.
Letting an ice cube melt in your mouth may also be refreshing and remember to take a water bottle with you wherever you go.
For further prevention, take breaks throughout the day from physical activities, and find some shade. Drink plenty of water. Try to keep your home at a sensible temperature and don’t remain in hot cars for an extended amount of time. Think of yourself and your loved ones safety this summer.