In this hot weather, it is easy to become dehydrated after spending a long period of time outdoors without drinking water, especially when exercising vigorously. Dehydration occurs when you use more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. If you don’t replace the lost fluids, you will get dehydrated. Anyone may become dehydrated, but the condition is especially dangerous for young children and older adults. Dehydration also can occur in any age group if you don’t drink enough water during hot weather. Sweating releases a significant amount of water. Hot and humid weather and vigorous physical activity further increase fluid loss from sweating. You can avoid dehydration during hot weather by:
- Avoiding the sun in the middle of the day — exercise or do outdoor activities early in the morning or evening instead;
- Wearing sunscreen and a hat that shades your head, neck, ears and face — sunburn stops your body from cooling itself down properly;
- Wearing thin, loose clothing — this allows good airflow, which helps sweat evaporate
- Avoiding dark clothing, as this absorbs more heat than light clothing.
If you are with someone, particularly a child or young person, and they suddenly become weak, nauseated, or dizzy during hot weather, get them indoors or in the shade. Replace lost fluids with water or a sports drink and cool the person down with a tepid shower or bath and fan air over their moist skin. Seek medical attention if the symptoms get worse or last for more than an hour.
If someone has dry, red skin, a fast pulse, looks confused or delirious, or feels very hot, that person is in extreme danger and you should seek medical attention immediately, as well as taking the steps outlined above.