A Plan to Prevent Dehydration
It’s time to plan for attending that picnic or parade on the Fourth of July. As you are planning, plan to prevent dehydration and what you are going to drink when it’s hot. Drinking water is very important to your health in the summer.
The elderly, those who live in hot, humid climates, people who take certain medications, and even children, are vulnerable to becoming dehydrated when outdoors in the heat.
There are many causes of dehydration
- If you or your loved one has diabetes, kidney disease, or heart conditions, you have a higher risk of dehydration.
- If you take a diuretic, read the medication warnings about fluid intake and be aware of how much you should drink daily.
- People who take certain blood pressure medications should be aware of the risks of being out in the sun for long periods.
- If you take care of a person with dementia, be cautious about getting them to drink enough fluids because they may not readily communicate their thirst or discomfort to you.
Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration can easily sneak up on you. So watch out for a dry, sticky mouth, dry skin, headache, dizziness, fatigue, and decreased or darkened urine. Don’t ignore these symptoms.
Here are some steps to take to prevent dehydration.
- Read the side effects and warnings information that came with your prescriptions.
- When you plan to be outdoors for a while, bring along a cooler of water bottles, ice cubes, popsicles, sports drinks, and a few damp, cool washcloths.
- Dress in light, loose clothing and wear a hat, sunglasses and suntan lotion.
- Avoid drinking only alcohol and drinks with caffeine when you are in the heat.
- Realize when it’s just too hot to be outside, and take a break indoors in air conditioning.
Water is the best drink for you!
Watch out for heat!
Watch the temperature and the heat index during the day when you are outdoors. When the heat index is 91 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, you should take precautions to keep cool. The heat index is a single temperature value that considers how both the outdoor temperature and humidity make you feel. When the humidity is high, your body has more difficulty cooling itself, making you vulnerable to dehydration, and even worse, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
You can learn more about dehydration by visiting the Mayo Clinic.
Don’t let dehydration ruin your summertime. Think and drink!