Published on June 12, 2015

Stay cool and safe: Summer in the city

Many of us look forward to the fun of summer.

But whether you’re catching a Phillies game, chasing the sun or keeping up with your kids, enjoy the season safely.

Daniel A. Jones, MD, an internal medicine physician at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital, offers these timely tips:

Drinking WaterWhat are the risks of rising temperatures?

People can quickly get dehydrated or develop a heat-related illness. For instance, a condition called heatstroke is a medical emergency and can even be fatal. Symptoms can include hot, red skin; confusion; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing; high body temperature; and loss of consciousness. Call 911 right away if you think someone may have heatstroke.

Why is drinking plenty of fluids important?

Drinking lots of water and avoiding too much sun can help you stay cool and hydrated.* So when you’re out and about, bring a water bottle. And drink up—even before you feel thirsty.

It’s also a good idea to plan your activities for the cooler morning or evening hours—especially if you’re going to be doing anything strenuous. Lightweight and light-colored clothing will also help you stay cool and comfortable.

What about sunburn?

Sunburn doesn’t just hurt. It can cause your body to overheat. And it adds to your skin cancer risk over time. Don’t forget your hat, sunglasses and sunscreen if you’re going to be outside for long periods. Whenever you can, try to find some shade. During extreme heat waves, an air-conditioned building is the best place to be.

*If you’ve been told to limit fluid intake for medical reasons, check with your doctor before increasing the amount you’re drinking.