Summer and Outdoor Workers!
By: Rosanna M. Tubelonia
It’s summer again! Going to the beach, kite-flying and just plain playing or walking around under the heat of the sun are some of the favorite pastime of kids this summer. Halo-halo, ice cream and just plain very cold water or soda are the favorite concoctions this season.
Last year, we already wrote an article titled, “Heat Illness Prevention for Filipinos” But it is good to remember the major points in the said article, this time with additional inputs. There we discussed how heat affects the human body, what groups are at high risk (diabetics, those with heart problems); the two types of heat illnesses (heat exhaustion and heat stroke) and some practical tips for preventing heal illness.
In summary, for every one-degree Celsius rise in core temperature, a typical person’s heartbeat goes up 30 beats per minute, and can lead to heart attacks. Diabetics’ nerve fibers on the other hand, don’t signal the blood vessels to dilate, decreasing the amount of blood brought to the skin’s surface to dissipate heat- thus their bodies may be “heating up” without their knowledge.
Heat exhaustion is the mildest form of heat illness. Workers afflicted by it typically exhibit any or all of these symptoms : 1) dizziness; 2) headache; 3) sweaty skin; 4) fast heart beat; 5) nausea, vomiting; 6) weakness; and 7) cramps. Heat stroke on the other hand, occurs when the body can’t regulate its internal temperature — when the sweating mechanism fails and the body is unable to cool down and organs begin to shut down. Victims typically may show any or a combination of the following symptoms: 1) red, hot dry skin; 2) fever; 3) confusion; 4) fainting and finally, 5) convulsions leading to death if not immediately recognized and treated.
How to Stay Healthy in Warm Conditions
Following are some tips we gave workers in said article:
Remember these three key words- Water. Rest. Shade.
As a reminder, working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. We must keep this in mind and plan additional precautions for working in these conditions.