Beat the Heat: Stay Hydrated
updated: Jul 23, 2014, 12:00 PM
Source: Santa Barbara County Fire Department
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department reminds people that dehydration can take place quickly and can
be dangerous, even fatal. It occurs when too much water is lost from the body, not enough is taken in, or
Many summer activities involve outdoor exertion, and it is important to remember that sweating can lead
to rapid depletion of water.
Signs of dehydration can include a dry mouth, lack of tears, less sweating, muscle cramps, palpitations,
dark yellow urine, lightheadedness, and nausea and vomiting. Confusion, weakness and even loss of
consciousness can occur when dehydration is severe.
For mild to moderate dehydration, oral fluid replacement in small, frequent amounts is recommended.
Fluid options include water, ice pops and sports drinks containing electrolyte replacement fluids. The
average adult needs 2 to 3 liters of fluids a day; if dehydrated, more may be needed. For severe symptoms
of dehydration, it is advisable to go to the emergency room or call 911.
Try to prevent dehydration by keeping in mind the following:
• Strenuous activities should not be scheduled during the hottest times of the day, generally between
10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
• Head into shaded areas as frequently as possible.
• Wear hats and light, thin clothes to block some of the heat.
• Hydrate often. A simple rule for hydration in the heat is one glass of water before, one during and one
after any moderate exertion lasting an hour.
• The young and the elderly are most at risk for dehydration.
• Avoid beverages that contain caffeine.
• Carry a bottle of water with you at all times.
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department reminds people don't wait until you feel thirsty to drink, as you
may already be dehydrated. If you keep these tips in mind, you should have no trouble staying hydrated.
Have a great summer and keep cool!
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