Our paving crew is encountering Texas heat on a daily basis and it's, well, hot. Add some hot mix asphalt to the equation and we're scorching our way through the day. The solution (in part) seems to be the amount of water we're drinking before, during, and after we work.
We're obviously not medical folks, but we preach drinking lots of water to everyone we run across.
If you're going to be working out in the yard, or on your own paving, dirt work, or even gardening projects during the day, remember the night before to drink some water. Follow this up with lots of regular consumption of water during the job, and then head inside and rehydrate yet again after the work is done. You lose
This before, during, and after routine seems to be working for us.
But, recognizing the signs of heat exhaustion will help you avoid one of the more serious health issues the elements can throw your way:
• Cool moist skin with goose bumps
• Heavy sweating
• Signs of water depletion including thirst, headache, weakness, dark urine
• Pale skin
• Rapid heartbeat
• Dizziness or confusion
These symptoms could be the pre-cursor to heat stroke, which is a potentially life-threatening situation.
If you have any of these symptoms you can drink caffeine-free liquids, remove unnecessary clothing, get in the shade or in an air conditioned space, take a cool shower or bath, or apply cool towels to neck and body.
If symptoms persist and there is no relief in 15 minutes, it is recommended to seek emergency medical attention as heat stroke may follow. Heat stroke is far more serious than generally understood, so take any and all precautions on the work site such as taking water breaks, and allow time for cooling down throughout the day.
Our crews have had success with drinking fluid at night which seems to contribute to less exhaustion the next day. This isn't really a scientific observation, just our opinion and we do this religiously. Regardless, drinking water has several benefits on its own, including lubricating joints, removing toxins, avoiding kidney stones and much more.
If you see any of the symptoms of heat stroke in the infographic below, get medical attention immediately.
Heat stroke is very serious. If you or someone you're working with has stopped sweating, has dry hot red skin, is dizzy with headache, has pinpoint pupils, is vomiting, or is unconscious, get medical attention immediately.
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