You’re unaware of the danger
Maridav/Shutterstock When your internal core temperature reaches 105˚F and the body can no longer cool itself down, you’re facing heat stroke, explains Jessica Bixenmann, health coach and behavior change expert with San Diego’s Sharp Health Plan. Signs of heat stroke to look out for are nausea and vomiting, a rapid heartbeat, lack of mental clarity, an intense headache, hot, bright red skin, grayness on darker skin, and dizziness. More advanced symptoms include seizures and fainting. Nobody is immune from heat stroke, and it is one of the most dangerous heat-related injuries. “It is a true medical emergency, and left untreated, permanent injury can occur to organs in your body, including your heart, kidneys, and even your brain,” says Christos Photopoulos, MD, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles. The good news is that this injury is completely preventable. Watch out for these other 50 summer health dangers you’re probably ignoring.
You’re wearing too much clothing
Pop Paul Catalin/Shutterstock Dark colors and heavy fabrics are likely to raise your temperature, warns Neha Raukar, MD, Associate Professor, Emergency Medicine at Brown University. And ditch the tight clothing even if you’re exercising outdoors. “Loose, light clothing is recommended if you are out in the heat and physically active” says Raukar. “Tight clothing can make it tough for the evaporation of sweat to occur, which is one of the ways the body cools itself, so if it’s compromised, your core temperature may rise to potentially dangerous levels.” Try these other 13 ways to keep cool when it’s sweltering out.
You aren’t using sunscreen
Krisana Antharith/Shutterstock You know you’re supposed to apply sunblock in the summer, but it doesn’t just affect your skin cancer risk. Sunburn also increases the risk of heat stroke, says Michael Smith, MD, chief medical director at WebMD. Aim for a sunscreen with SPF 30 or more. To ensure that you get full protection, you need to apply one ounce (about a shot glass full). Studies show that most people apply only half to a quarter of that amount, which means the actual SPF they have on their body is lower than what it says on the tube! During a long day at the beach, one person should use around one half to one quarter of an eight ounce bottle. Sunscreens should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow the ingredients to fully bind to the skin, and reapplied every two hours as well as immediately after swimming, toweling off, or sweating profusely.