When the weather heats up, things can get really fun outside, but it’s important to be aware there’s a very real risk, too. Heat stroke claims lives every year, and it’s preventable. When physical activity in hot weather and prolonged exposure to high temperatures cause the body temperature to reach 104°F, heat stroke occurs. Medications, health issues and age can all increase risk – the very young and old are especially vulnerable.
Cramps may be the first sign, but many symptoms can warn of heat stroke. Here’s what to watch for:
- High body temperature
- Muscle weakness or cramps
- No sweating
- Vomiting and nausea
- Flushing (red skin)
- Racing heart rate
- Rapid or shallow breathing
- Passing out (or even coma)
Lack of treatment can mean serious complications or even death. You can prevent heat stroke with a few precautions, especially in the hottest part of the day:
- Wear lightweight, loose and light-colored clothes.
- Drink lots of fluids.
- Know whether your medicine makes you more prone.
- Avoid strenuous activity outside.
- Take it easy if you have a health issue that puts you at risk.
- Don’t leave children (or anyone) in parked cars.
For other tips on preventing heat stroke, speak to your Culbertson healthcare provider.
Use your head; wear a helmet. Bike accidents account for most sports-related emergencies for kids ages 5 to 14. Many can be prevented with a helmet. Having one that fits properly is just as important as wearing it.
- Look up – if you see the bottom rim, it fits.
- Check your ears – if the straps form a “V” under your ears when buckled, it fits.
- Open your mouth – if the helmet hugs your head when you open your mouth, it fits.
Simple Safety Tips
- Wear bright-colored clothing.
- Dress for the weather.
- Never ride with headphones.
- Use a backpack to carry items.
- Ride with a friend.
- Make sure someone knows where you’re going.
- Make sure tires are properly inflated.
- Use lights at night.
Rules of the Road
- Look both ways before crossing traffic.
- Obey traffic signs and signals – just like other vehicles.
- Follow lane markings – don’t turn left from the right lane or go straight in a “right turn only.”
- Scan the road behind you – look over your shoulder without losing balance or swerving. Consider using rear-view mirrors.
- Keep both hands ready for braking.
- Use hand signals to advise others of your intentions.
- Choose the best way to turn left – like an auto: signal to move into the left turn lane, then turn left; like a pedestrian, ride straight to the far-side crosswalk, then walk your bike across.
- Make eye contact with drivers.
- Watch for road hazards – like sewer grates, gravel, ice, sand or debris. Cross railroad tracks at right angles.