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Staying Cool-And Safe-In Hot Weather

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Staying Cool-And Safe-In Hot Weather

('s important to remember to keep your cool when the temperatures rise. That's the news from health care professionals who say people should be aware of the dangers of heat-related illnesses.

The warning holds true for people working outside (construction, landscaping, etc.) and for those playing outside (golfers, for example). Heat-related illnesses, such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, can affect anyone.

Try these tips for chilling out:

Treat Heat Cramps-Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms, usually in the abdomen, arms or legs, that may occur in association with strenuous activity. If you suffer from heat cramps, doctors say to stop all activity and sit quietly in a cool place. Drink clear juice or a sports beverage. Do not return to strenuous activity for a few hours after the cramps subside.

Handle Heat Exhaustion-Heat exhaustion can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate replacement of fluids. Warning signs include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or fainting. Drinking cool nonalcoholic beverages, taking a cool shower, staying in an air-conditioned environment and wearing light clothing are all effective measures to take to help prevent heat exhaustion.

Strike Out Against Heat Stroke-Heat stroke is a serious condition. Warning signs include an extremely high body temperature; red, hot and dry skin (no sweating); rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; and unconsciousness. Doctors say anyone suffering from these symptoms should be cooled rapidly (in a tub of cool water, for instance) and seek medical help immediately.

Consider a Cool Kit-If you must be out in the heat, experts recommend limiting outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. It's also a good idea to pack yourself a "cool kit." Be sure it includes bottled water, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. You can also use a cooling product such as the Chilly Pad Sports Towel. It's made from a material that retains water but remains dry to the touch. When "wet," the pad becomes considerably cooler than the outside air and helps cool the wearer down.

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