Beating the Heat : Tips for Staying Safe While Working Outdoors
Here at Army Navy Outdoors, we love our customers and want them to stay healthy!
Many of our customers are those who serve our country, and our community. With this responsibility comes working conditions that can be extremely harsh. Yes, this time of the year we are referring to the heat. It can be unbearable and unforgiving. When the temperatures soar as they are doing currently, every measure available should be taken to protect the body from extreme heat. Preventing heat related illness is much easier than trying to treat it. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke can leave you with permanent damage or even cause death. We have included a few tips from our experts to keep your cool and healthy.
The first and most important step is to avoid issue and wear the correct clothing to keep sun exposure to a minimum. In the heat, long sleeves work best. They keep the sun directly off of you and allows perspiration to get absorbed into the shirt, thus keeping your skin cooler. Direct sunlight exposure will dry the perspiration and heat your skin making you more prone to heat related illness. We teach this every day and cannot stress enough that long sleeves and and the right hat are the two most important items of gear to keep you cool, comfortable and protect in your defense against the harmful rays of the sun. Working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep this in mind and plan additional precautions for working in these conditions.100% cotton works but there are better fabrics with technology built right into the shirt to allow the release of excessive heat, blended with either a 30+ or 50+UV. We also wear pants with the same fabric when on the range, backpacking or being outside. Our staff has been so pleased with it, we wear it most of the time.
Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty. If you wait to FEEL thirsty, you have waited too long and you will be in catch up mode! Water alone takes a long time to get into your cells. Adding salt, sugar or electrolytes (best) is the fastest way to hydrate.
Rest in the shade to cool down.
Wear a hat and light-colored clothing. Using fabrics that you can soak in water will cool you off and keep your core temperature more regulated. Microfibers such as supplex type or 100% cotton is best. Polyester blends do not hold the water as well.
Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency. If you are not urinating after drinking plenty of water, this is the first sign your body is using all it can get.
Keep an eye on fellow workers. If you or someone seems sluggish, dizzy, or cannot focus, address it right away.
"Easy does it" on your first days of work in the heat. You need to get used to it.
Remember, we can’t do anything about the heat, but we can certainly do our best to limit our exposure to it. Your clothing can play a big part in whether or not excessive heat is being trapped or released. Make sure your clothing is lightweight, and preferably a light color as suggested. We do carry clothing to help you beat the heat. For these products and others, check out our website by following this link. Stay safe out there!