Summertime is here and while it’s the season for outdoor fun in the sun, there are some important tips to remember for the warmer weather. If you plan on being outside, remember to bring water, sunscreen, and other necessities that will help keep you safe.
Tips to prevent dehydration:
Don’t Wait: One of the easiest ways to prevent dehydration is to drink water. The key is to beat dehydration, not try to reverse it. Drink water even if you aren’t thirsty now.
Accessibility to Water: If you’re going to be outdoors, take water with you. Always make sure it’s accessible and if your bottle is empty, refill it. If you think your bottle may run out and you’re in an area where it’s not easy to refill (hiking, swimming, biking, etc.) bring a backup water bottle.
Don’t Skip Meals: You get most of your water/liquid intake from the meals that you eat. Hydration doesn’t need to always be plain water; juices from vegetables and fruits count as well!
Skip the Alcohol/Drink in Moderation: If you’re planning on going to an outdoor party where there will be alcohol, limit your intake and drink plenty of water. Alcohol has the opposite effect and it’s important to combat that with getting enough water to avoid becoming dehydrated.
Symptoms of Dehydration
Becoming dehydrated is dangerous to everyone, especially children and the elderly. Dehydration comes with many recognizable symptoms which include:
- Dry mouth
- Weakness in muscles
If the dehydration is severe, the symptoms become more severe and dangerous:
- Lack of sweating
- Sunken eyes
- Dry skin
- Low blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
If any of these symptoms occur, make sure to act fast. If you believe that symptoms aren’t getting better but getting worse after home remedies are tried, it’s important to get to a doctor, urgent care, or hospital.
How to Treat Dehydration
If it’s too late to prevent dehydration, there are ways that you can lessen the symptoms until you are in a cooler area with water or on the way to emergency care:
- Consume clear fluids like broth, water, or sports drinks such as Gatorade
- Don’t drink caffeine (tea, coffee, soda) – this dehydrates you more
- Pedialyte is an over-the-counter drink that is available at most drugstores to aide with hydration through electrolytes
- Sometimes, individuals with dehydration will require medical assistance from a doctor and need to be given an IV of fluid
If you believe that you are not able to provide fast enough remedies like those above, it’s important to get medical help immediately.