When you need to work outside in the heat, it’s essential to make sure you stay safe. Whether you’re working outdoors as part of your job or doing outside tasks at your home, you’ll need to take steps to prevent dehydration, heat stroke and other dangers. Keep the following tips in mind for staying cool when it’s hot outside.
You can dehydrate easily while working outdoors since your body loses moisture through sweat. Dehydration is a serious health issue, so make sure you have plenty of water with you. You should aim to have one cup of water about every 15 to 20 minutes while you work. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty since this could mean you won’t be drinking enough water overall.
Having a heavy meal, especially one that includes meat with a lot of protein, while working in the heat can raise your temperature. Your body produces higher levels of metabolic heat while it’s digesting heavier foods. While it’s important to eat and maintain your energy, stick to lighter meals or snacks. You should also keep your electrolyte levels up by drinking sports beverages and snacking on fresh fruit, green leafy vegetables and nuts.
Move to Shade
You might not be able to stay in a shady area the entire time you’re outside working, but you should at least take breaks in the shade. Look for a spot that gets you out of the sun, especially if you’re outdoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun is stronger. If possible, try to get up to 30 minutes of rest every hour if you’re working in extreme heat. If you can, try to do some tasks in a shady or covered area instead of out in the sun.
Make Changes to Your Schedule
Depending on how hot it is, you might need to make some changes to your schedule to avoid the worst of the heat. This might mean moving non-essential tasks to days when it’s not as hot outside or doing the most difficult or demanding tasks earlier in the day. Overall, you should try to get outside and do your work earlier than usual in the morning on hot days or later than usual in the evening.
Prepare for the Heat
Wear clothes that are loose-fitting and light-colored to help you stay cooler, and try to cover as much skin as you can to lower your risk of sunburn. Breathable fabrics, such as cotton, can help lower your risk of getting too hot. Apply sunscreen as often as needed throughout the day, which might be more than usual if you’re sweating. You should also wear a hat outside to help block out the sun.
If you have a heat-related illness or need other medical care, please visit PrimeCare Urgent Care.