Right around July, it might seem like a good time for a cruise to Alaska or maybe even all the way up to the Arctic. However, if you need to stay outside in the local sunshine, be sure you take care of yourself. Anybody can succumb to dehydration, heat cramps or even a really bad sun burn. But children and older adults should be particularly careful because they can feel the effects of heat faster and take longer to recover.
Did you know that you are probably already dehydrated by the time you feel thirsty? If you engage in any activity outside in the heat, you should make sure you take a sip of water or another hydrating drink every few minutes, whether you feel thirsty or not. Don’t forget to top off your water bottle if you plan to walk, jog or ride a bike out in the sunshine. Make sure you provide plenty of cool drinks for the picnic and softball game, too.
Wear a Hat or Scarf Outside
Our bodies lose a sizable percentage of moisture through the tops of our sunbaked heads. A hat can help retain moisture, prevent scalp burns and keep the sun from beating down on the most exposed part of your body. A good hat with a wide brim can help you carry around your own source of shade.
Use Fans Inside to Supplement Air Conditioning
Fans help cool bodies off in the same way that a breeze does outside. They can help keep homes cool with the thermostat set a little higher, and this can help ease the pain of high summer electricity bills too. Remember to turn fans off if nobody is in the room because they don’t help unless the breeze can actually reach skin.
If You Feel Ill, Seek Medical Help
The most serious heat-caused injury is called heat stroke, and early symptoms might include confusion, dizziness or nausea. Even if you feel a little light headed, you might be experiencing early signs of a heat injury. Get inside, wrap a damp towel or ice packs around your head and neck, get a drink and get somebody to take you for urgent medical treatment or call 911. In most cases, people recover pretty quickly once they get cooled off and hydrated, but people with chronic illnesses, the very young and the elderly are vulnerable. This can be a very serious condition, and it can even be fatal.
Does Your Health Insurance Cover Urgent or Emergency Care?
You won’t have to worry about seeking urgent medical treatment if you make sure your health insurance covers emergencies. Some very restrictive HMO plans require members to seek medical treatment within a network of medical providers. However, they usually make exceptions for emergencies.
If you are not sure what your medical plan covers, contact us. Here at Matsen Insurance Brokers, Inc., we know that the best time to review your insurance policies is before you need to use them.
Sources: Heat stroke: http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/heat-stroke-symptoms-and-treatment