Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Cheat the heat
…Out here in Arizona, some people carry potholders to open their car doors. The first year is the worst. Then your body is resigned to the incredible heat of summer (OK, fall and spring, too). Or so they say.
…HA can report that a certain contempt toward the elements does set in. “I can walk”—or “I can jog next to a roadway spewing exhaust.”
…Then, wouldn’t you know? Someone gets heat sickness.
…This sickness has degrees. First, there can be lightheadedness or fainting. (We seem to notice extreme, dragging, hideous tiredness that comes out of the blue, you can hardly speak.)
…Heat exhaustion results if you don’t have enough fluids onboard to cool your body. You get sick, vomit, get a crushing headache, or start to see things or ramble. The body temp can shoot up to 105 F.
…The brain, which is gooey protein much like an egg, begins to cook.
….You can be outside talking to someone and they will go over. People with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, excess weight, a hyperthyroid condition, or alcoholism tend to be more susceptible.
…But seemingly young spry people can also succumb.
…You can acclimate somewhat. Workers in hot factories or bakeries who have been away awhile should start half-days.
…Wear loose clothing.
…Drink water all day, even if you are not thirsty. A construction foreman reports drinking 9 lbs of water a day (a gallon is 8 lbs) and still losing 4 lbs a day being outside.
…Work or exercise early.
…If someone keels, drag them out of the hot area. If they can drink, give them room temp water. If they can’t drink, dial 911.
…This is not a joke! They could be minutes from checking out.
…Heat can be one of those “time’s up” situations.