Staying Safe While Doing Summer Scouting
Many of us take to the field to start this year's scouting when the weather warms up. With the rising temperatures also comes the risks of heat exhaustion. Remember to bring and drink plenty of fluids. Avoid fluids like alcohol and coffee as these fluids act as diuretics.
The color of your urine will help aid you in knowing your hydration level. The lighter the color of the urine, you are doing fine, the darker color yellow to brown of your urine you are dehydrated. Take into account that medications and vitamins can change the color of your urine so use that as a general rule.
Some of the signs of heat exhaustion include fatigue, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, muscle cramping, headache, and profuse sweating. If you encounter these signs/symptoms stop exerting yourself, get out of the sun, drink plenty of fluids, remove clothing to aid in cooling, but not enough to make you shiver as that will create more body heat. If symptoms persist seek medical attention.
Heat exhaustion can lead into heat stoke which can be deadly if not treated. Heat stoke is when the body has an elevated temperature with accompanying physical or neurological symptoms. Unlike heat cramps (muscle cramps) and heat exhaustion, heat stroke is a true medical emergency that can be fatal if not properly and promptly treated.
Your body normally generates heat as a result of metabolism, and is usually able to dissipate the heat by radiation of heat through the skin or by evaporation of sweat. You also loose some from breathing as well. In extreme heat, high humidity, or exertion under the sun, your body may not be able to dissipate the heat and your body temperature rises. Sometimes up to 106 degrees or higher.
With heat stroke you will see the absence of sweating, red hot or flushed dry skin, rapid heart beat, difficulty breathing, strange behavior (altered mental status), hallucinations, confusion, agitation, disorientation, seizures, and even coma. You might not see all of these at once but if you recognize at least one of the above starting treating immediately.
Initial treatment till medical help arrives or can intervene are remove the person from the sun and heat if you can. Remove the person’s clothing, spray the person with misting water to aid in dissipating heat, and place ice packs under armpits and groins.
Remember to have fun and be safe out there this summer.