Safe Summer Activities During COVID
We have partnered with the American Heart Association to spread Healthy for GOOD news to our members and beyond. Adventist Health Lodi Memorial and AHA are taking great strides to get information into businesses on how to help keep employees and families heart healthy, and they recently released this article. We hope it provides some information on heat safety and ways to get outside during COVID.
How to stay safe, healthy and cool this summer despite COVID-19 threat
Courtesy of the American Heart Association
With the arrival of warm weather, and the loosening of some lockdown restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic, it's only natural that people are itching to get outside.
But what summer activities are safe during a pandemic? And with many air-conditioned movie theaters, libraries, restaurants, and malls closed or limiting the number of visitors, where can people go to cool down?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises those without access to air-conditioned environments to take a cool shower or bath. Electric fans also can help. Swimming, when possible, is another surefire way to beat the heat.
Additionally, because of social distancing, many people are opting outside to exercise alone. Many of these people may be novices and are not acclimated to exercising in the heat or aware of the risks. It's best to wear light, loose clothing and exercise when temperatures are lower and the sun's rays aren't as intense. The likelihood of heat illnesses goes up with some medications, including diuretics, blood pressure-lowering medicines, antihistamines and many psychiatric drugs. Certain people need to be especially careful about exercising in the heat, including people who are older or have diabetes, cardiovascular disease or other medical concerns.
People with heat stroke symptoms should call 911 or go to an emergency room immediately. Those symptoms include:
– A temperature of 104 F or higher
– Confusion, changed personality or other altered mental states
– Reddish skin
– Nausea and vomiting
– Rapid, shallow breathing
– A rapid heartbeat
– A throbbing headache
For those with less severe symptoms, such as heat rash, excessive sweating and muscle pain or spasms, an air-conditioned environment is the rescue. Heat stroke happens mostly in populations that don't have access to air conditioning during heat waves such as the homeless, certain elderly people and children left in cars.
With water fountains and coolers potentially off-limits because of COVID-19, be prepared to carry an insulated water bottle and fill it with an ice-cold liquid you enjoy. But avoid alcohol, which can lead to dehydration and cause poor decision-making. Try adding some flavor by infusing your water with delicious fruit. Rising temperatures shouldn't stop you from jogging, hiking or spending time outside – but they should alert you to the danger of heat illnesses brought on by exertion. Be safe and have fun this summer.