School will soon be out, and millions of kids will be on vacation.  According to Booking.com, family travel is expected to increase this summer.  Almost two-thirds (62 percent) of families rank spending quality time as the main motivator for traveling this year, followed by finding the time to truly relax (58 percent) and discovering new places (48 percent). According to the European Union climate monitoring service, 2023 was the hottest year on record.  And scientists say 2024 could be even hotter!  These tips could help your family remain healthy, even if summer temperatures soar. prepare your family for the possibility of heat exhaustion this summer.

Prepare for the Heat

Heading to a beach or lake is still the number one destination. While a family summer vacation on the water can be an amazing family experience, some preparations can make the holiday even more enjoyable.

  1. Stay in a cool or air-conditioned space as much as possible
  2. Limit outdoor activities to the cooler parts of the day- avoid being outside from 11 am – 3 pm
  3. Spend time in shady, cooler areas.
  4. Wear cool, loose clothing.

Heat Exhaustion

Here is the latest advice on preparing for heat exhaustion from Dr. Brad Kristiansen, the Director of Clinical Training for Ulan Nutritional Systems.

“It’s common in hot, humid climates for people to become exhausted due to the heat and not recognize it,” says Dr. Kristiansen. “Many people chalk it up to, ‘I’ve lived here all my life I’m used to it’, ‘I drink lots of water’, ‘I have air conditioning and I don’t get overheated’ and various other reasons.  And this is not restricted to hot humid climates. It also occurs in dryer, hot climates, and in northern areas in hot summers.”

Here are some reasons heat exhaustion can occur:

  • Working or playing outside for extended periods without drinking enough water.
  • Drinking coffee, tea, or other caffeine products as caffeine is a natural diuretic. Many people think if they drink tea or coffee, they don’t need to drink more water. This is not the case.
  • Soft drinks contain a lot of sugar and sweeteners in them. This prevents the body from using electrolytes efficiently.
  • Working in air conditioning; air conditioning removes moisture from the air to make it feel cooler. However, it also removes moisture from your body. Be sure to drink enough water when you are in an air-conditioned space.
  • Summer travel often means spending time in an airplane. The airline industry has a directive that pilots and flight attendants should drink eight ounces of water for every hour spent in the air. It’s been well-documented that flying dehydrates the body.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

Here is a list of the signs and symptoms to watch out for in the upcoming summer months:

  • Pale skin or a flushed face- like having just run a race
  • Fark circles under the eyes that weren’t there before
  • Profuse sweating, even when the air is cool
  • Tacky/sticky feeling skin
  • Fatigue to the point of getting up in the morning but not feeling rested
  • Feeling over-fatigued and can’t focus during the day
  • Headaches – Eye irritation/fatigue
  • Nausea – flu-like symptoms
  • Abdominal cramping, vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fainting (passing out) or feeling faint
  • Dizziness – Mental exhaustion – confusion
  • Feeling emotional – weepy, upset
  • Rapid heart rate – occasionally with mild chest discomfort
  • Sinus congestion
  • Dark-colored urine – urine normally is a very pale yellow or clear. Also, low urine output with a strong odor, with a feeling of urgency to urinate

How to Handle Heat Exhaustion

Here are a few tips from Dr. Kristiansen:

  • Take Sea Salt and/or Homeopathic Cell Salts. And remember to take potassium with the salt.
  • Use balanced electrolyte drinks without sugars (The Dr. Price brand is one.)
  • Drink room temperature water frequently if these symptoms are present. Cold water may trigger an upset stomach whereas warm, room-temperature water will not.

To ensure a healthy summer vacation for you and your family, consult a qualified Nutrition Response Testing® practitioner and get a personalized nutrition plan to get you on the path to optimum health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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