Safety Tips for Heat Awareness Day
National Heat Awareness Day is observed annual on the last Friday of May, but heat awareness is important all summer long. With summer weather just gearing up for a long hot season, it’s important to be aware of safety tips to prevent heat-related illnesses even when spending the day in the cool pool water. Aquaman Pools’ professionals dive into ways to stay cool in the heat this summer.
According to ABC 15 News, heat is the No. 1 weather-related killer in the country. The National Weather Service states that heat kills more people than tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and lightning combined. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has even proclaimed this week, May 23 through May 27, Heat Awareness Week to help bring awareness to the severity of the issue and offer tips to keep people safe. When swimming in the pool, people may not think much of the heat, however, it can still be an issue.
Stay Hydrated — Even when enjoying the swimming pool, the body can get dehydrated. Dehydration is the result of the body’s loss of fluids, which can happen from exercise and sweating, even when surrounded by water. So when spending the day by the pool, have access to plenty of cool water and drink up throughout the day. (Remind the kids to drink their water as well and if pets are outside for some fun in the sun, make sure they have a bowl of cool water nearby too!).
Wear Preventative Clothing and Accessories — Hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and protective clothing won’t protect one from the heat itself, but it will protect eyes, face and skin from the damage the sun can do. When in the sun, don an oversized hat and sunglasses and slather on plenty of sunscreen. Don’t forget to reapply at least every two hours, especially when in and out of the water.
Made in the Shade — During the peak hours of the day when the sun’s rays are more intense, it’s a good idea to take a break from the sun and seek some shade. While shade doesn’t actually affect the temperature, it can feel up to 15 degrees cooler than in the direct sunlight. So after some time spent in the sun, “cool down” in the shade for a little while.
Pay Attention to the Symptoms — Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can occur when exposed to excessive heat for a long period of time. Whether out for a hike or relaxing in the pool, this can occur. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heat stroke is the most serious of the heat-related illnesses and it “occurs when the body can no longer control its temperature.” The body’s temperature rises quickly, its sweating mechanism fails and it is unable to cool itself down. Symptoms of heat stroke can include confusion or an altered mental status, slurred speech, loss of consciousness, hot, dry skin or excessive sweating, seizures and very high body temperature. If experiencing these symptoms, seek emergency treatment as soon as possible.
Heat exhaustion, caused by the body’s excessive loss of water and salt from profuse sweating, can have its own set of symptoms such as headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability, thirst and heavy sweating. If experiencing these, the Mayo Clinic recommends getting out of the sun into a cool area, drink some cool water or a sports drink (and avoid or stop drinking alcoholic beverages), loosen or remove tight clothing.
The experts at Aquaman Pools want everyone to have a safe, fun and happy summer. So follow these safety tips and enjoy the season!