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Stay cool this summer

Tips to avoid heat exhaustion

Getting outside is great for your physical and mental health, however hot summer days can increase the risk of heat exhaustion. Avoid physical exertion on sweltering summer days – exercise during the early morning or evening when temperatures are cooler. Temperatures above 90 degrees and humidity levels above 60% greatly increase the possibility of developing heat exhaustion.

The symptoms of heat exhaustion

  • Dark-colored urine

  • Dizziness

  • Headache or feeling tired

  • Muscle cramps

  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

  • Pale skin and profuse sweating

  • Rapid heartbeat

To treat heat exhaustion, move to a cool place such as an air-conditioned space or cool, shady location. Drink plenty of fluids (no coffee or alcohol), take a cool shower or bath, use fans or ice towels to cool the body. Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat injury and is a medical emergency. If you or anyone else experiences fainting or a core temperature above 104 degrees, call 911 immediately.

When skies are smoky, stay inside

As the threat of wildfires increases this summer, also remember to stay indoors when air quality worsens. The Flathead City-County Health Department provides a daily air quality report and summary of wild fire restrictions around the state at this link. Younger and older populations may be more at risk so take precautions and beat the heat inside. 

Don’t forget sun protection!

Sunburn is painful and avoidable. Every exposure to the sun increases your chance of skin cancer and premature aging. Stay in the shade during the hottest part of the day and avoid tanning and UV tanning beds. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or higher and apply to exposed skin 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.

Partner with your primary care provider

If you want to improve your health and wellbeing but need help to find the best way forward, make an appointment with your primary care provider. Your primary care provider can help you develop a plan based on your goals, current fitness level and consider any pre-existing conditions or risk factors you may have.

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Your friends at Kalispell Regional Healthcare wish you fun and safe summer!