avoid-overheating-on-vacationIt can be HOT in Florida in the summertime, and if you are here on Amelia Island for vacation, you need to know how to keep your body from overheating. When you sweat, your body has turned on your internal air conditioner. This helps to cool you as the sweat evaporates. However, Florida has very high humidity levels which slow the process, making you feel miserably hot, sticky and ill.

Some people are more at risk of a heat related illness. People who are overweight, have existing health conditions such as heart disease or high blood pressure, those over 65 years of age, children younger than four and anyone who does not drink enough fluids to stay well hydrated.

Your best plan to avoid overheating while you are on vacation in Florida is to stay in air conditioned areas during the hottest part of the day. Plan your outdoor or strenuous activities during the early morning or late evening hours.

If you like to drink alcoholic or caffeinated beverages, alternate these drinks with a glass of water. Have your beer; drink a bottle of water. Have another beer; drink some more water. This will help keep you better hydrated and reduce your risk of hangover!

Eat light meals that are well balanced.

Wear light, loose fitting clothing. Wear a big floppy hat, sunscreen and sunglasses. When you can, stay in the shade.

If you are feeling warm, weak and slightly ill, it is time to relax and take a cool shower, bath or a dip in the pool. Find some shade and bring your body’s temperature down as quickly as possible.

If you have medical conditions, always ask your doctor for recommendations on the amount of fluids you should be drinking and how sun exposure may affect any medications you are taking.

Most importantly, watch for signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke:

Heat exhaustion is the main result of being exposed to the heat and not drinking enough fluids. It can come on suddenly, or it may take days of this combination for these warning signs to show up:

Muscle cramps and weakness
Headache or dizziness
Pale skin or heavy sweating
Nausea and Vomiting

If you have these symptoms, drink water in frequent, but small amounts. Take a cool shower and rest indoors, out of the sun and in air conditioning if possible. If the symptoms are severe, get worse or last more than an hour seek medical help because heat exhaustion may lead to a heatstroke without proper treatment.

Heatstroke occurs when you stop sweating and your internal air conditioning is no longer working properly. If these warning signs are present, call for emergency help immediately:

Rapid pulse that is strong
No longer sweating
Red, hot and dry skin
High Fever

While waiting for help to arrive, lower the person’s body temperature by putting them in a cool shower or bath or by spraying them with the garden hose.

Your best defense is to know how to avoid overheating your body while on vacation. So follow these tips and have a great time – we are glad you are here!