Yes It's Hot! Hot! Hot!

Manila Bulletin, April 4, 2009 | Go to article overview

Yes It's Hot! Hot! Hot!


Summer has set in with its usual severity.”—Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), English poetLetter, May 9, 1826, by essayist Charles LambThe weather forecast of a rainy Holy Week is a fluke. Our skin knows hot weather can’t be delayed anymore than the exodus out of the cities. So let’s assume the weatherman is wrong or just partly right. Makes sense still to write about heat emergencies.Common causesHigh temperatures or humidityProlonged or excessive exerciseHeavy, layered clothingAlcohol use (causes dehydration)Medication such as diuretics (given in hypertension, usually)Summer means dehydrationWould you know if you’re dehydrated? It’s especially important to recognize heat stress in children because they are most prone yet least defensible. They have more body surface per pound of weight compared to adults. Early dehydration symptoms are thirst, fatigue, irritability, dry mouth and just plain feeling hot.Heat cramps and syncopeThere’s muscle cramping and it happens mostly to athletes exercising under the sun with little hydration. Immediately, get that person into the shade, stretch the affected muscle and rehydrate with water. If there’s a sports drink available, the high sodium content is a plus. However, if more than eight percent of the drink is carbohydrate, absorption would not be as fast as H2O. …

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