How to Prevent Heat-Related Medical Issues

August 20th, 2013
heat injuries

Each summer thousands of children, adults and the elderly fall victim to heat related medical problems including heat stroke. As Canadians, we want to enjoy every bit of good weather that is available to us, but it is important to be mindful of the serious and potentially fatal injuries that can be sustained from too much heat exposure.

Adults and children playing outdoor sports are especially suseptible to heat injury. Outdoor sports are a great way to keep kids active and teach them the merits of teamwork in today’s age of videogames and television, however there are always risks. If you or your children play or practice outdoor sports in hot weather, there are several important steps you can take to make sure you aren’t a victim of heat injury.

1. Always make sure you have fluids on hand to replenish what you lose through sweat.

2. Sports drinks with electrolytes are extremely important, because when you sweat excessively your body also loses salt and minerals. If you only drink water when you are sweating excessively, you  can potentially throw your body’s salt balance off, which is deadly in extreme cases.

3. Take frequent breaks if you are working hard. Sports teach us to push ourselves, but pushing yourself too much is dangerous, especially in hot weather.

4. If your kids play for a team, make sure the coach provides adequate rest time during practices and games.

5. Always take breaks in the shade if possible.

6. On hot and humid days, wear less clothing.

7. Football players are recommended to wear less padding and gear on exceptionally hot days, this allows their bodies to cool off faster and avoid heat stroke.

8. If you feel ill or strange, notify someone immediately.

Often the symptioms or heat exaustion or heat stroke are subtle. If something feels off or not right, make sure to get help immediately. If you feel exceptionally hot, have stopped sweating, or feel lightheaded seek emergency medical attention right away.

Even if you don’t play outdoor sports, during the warmer months you should still be mindful of other heat related injuries that can occur.

The Elderly and Heat Related Incidents

If you have an elderly parent, friend or relative that lives alone, on exceptionally hot days you should check in on them to make sure they’re not at risk for heat stroke. The elderly are not able to tell if they are overheating as easily as someone younger can. Many times they do not know is they are in danger of heat stroke until it is too late.

Young Children and Pets in Cars

Never leave young children or pets in a car unattended. Even if it doesn’t feel that hot outside, the heat will build up in a cars interior quickly. If you crack the windows or only run into the store “for a second” serious injury from heat damage can still occur. It is best always to play it safe to avoid potentially devestating consequences.

If you follow these simple tips during warm weather, you will drastically reduce your risk of heat-related medical problems while enjoying the weather to the fullest.

The experienced lawyers at Cariati Law are here to help. If you or a loved one have been injured in any type of accident, call Cariati Law for a free, no obligation, confidential consultation at 905-629-8040. There is never a fee for ours services unless we win for you. Our lawyers are committed to protecting your rights. When injured, make one call to Cariati Law.

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