With the warm months approaching, many people are gearing up for fun outdoor activities or working outside. Enjoying the outdoors is healthy but it is essential to take precautions when the temperature is high. During the summer months, it is easy to stay outside all day having fun and forget to drink enough hydrating fluids. You should know the signs of dehydration to keep yourself and your loved ones safe during the warm months of the year. Dehydration can progress to heat stress, which can be deadly if not identified and treated quickly. Everyone is susceptible to dehydration but children and people over the age of 60 years old are more at risk. Follow these 5 tips to avoid dehydration this summer.
1. Prevention is Key
If you know you will be spending the day outside make sure to prepare by drinking fluids the night before and in the morning before heading out for the day. Staying hydrated consistently will help avoid getting to the point of dehydration. The key to preventing dehydration is consuming more fluids than you are losing.
2. Pay Attention to Your Urine
The color of your urine can help you identify if you are hydrated enough. Clear yellow urine is an indication that you are well hydrated. If your urine starts to become darker, it is a sign that you are starting to lose more fluids than you are bringing in. If you are not able to urinate or haven’t urinated in a very long time you need to hydrate and medical attention may be needed.
3. Signs and Symptoms
Know the signs and symptoms of dehydration so that you are able to identify when you or your loved ones may be in trouble. Signs and symptoms of dehydration include:
- Dry mouth
- Dry skin
- Urinating less
- Light-headedness and / or dizziness
- Confusion and / or irritability
4. Never Leave the House Without a Water Bottle
Make sure to always bring a water bottle with you when you leave the house. This will ensure that you always have fluids on hand and remind you to continue to drink water throughout the day.
5. Avoid Dehydrating Drinks
Water is the best type of fluid to drink to stay hydrated. Sports drinks can also be beneficial for replacing electrolytes if you will be outside for a long period of time being physically active but beware of consuming too much sugar with these beverages. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks should be avoided because they can promote dehydration.