Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center - Richmond, VA
Prevention- Heat-Related Illness
The risk of heatstroke for older Veterans during this time of the year can be dangerous. Heat-related illnesses can be serious.
Veterans can reduce heat-related illnesses by observing precautions to avoid overheating and dehydration.
Wide-brimmed hats in light colors keep the sun from warming the head and neck and block the powerful radiation from hurting the eyes; vents on a hat will allow perspiration to cool the head.
Strenuous exercise should be avoided during daylight hours in hot weather; so should remaining in enclosed spaces (such as automobiles). The temperature inside cars can reach 200°F (c. 93°C) at the right exterior temperature, sunlight, color of vehicle, and type of vehicle.
• Put off strenuous tasks for a cooler day or plan to do them during the coolest parts of the day
• When outside, wear lightweight and light-colored clothing. Carry an umbrella for shade. Sponge off with cool water from time to time throughout the day.
• Most important of all, drink lots of water, juices, or sports drinks. (Avoid caffeine and alcohol).
Stay alert for Weather Conditions and warnings. Contact a physician if you have heat-related symptoms; muscle cramps, feeling faint, headache, weakness, thirst, and confusion, severe sweating, or fever.