CBIZ Sattler Adventure Sports Blog

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Ward, Hayden
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Working in the Heat? Stay Safe with These Tips

heat stroke whitewater rafting

Heat can be deadly by pushing the human body beyond its limits. A heatwave, an extended period of extreme heat that is often accompanied by high humidity, can be dangerous and even life-threatening for people who don't take the proper precautions. In these conditions, evaporation slows, and the body must work even harder to maintain a normal temperature. In a typical year, approximately 175 Americans succumb to the demands of the summer heat.

Keep your cool and stay safe in the summer heat with these tips:

Know the Signs

Most heat disorders occur because the victim has been overexposed to heat or has over-exercised for their age and physical condition. Older adults, young children and those who are sick or overweight are more likely to succumb to extreme heat. Other conditions that can induce heat-related illnesses include stagnant atmospheric conditions and poor air quality.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion occurs when a person cannot sweat enough to cool the body — typically the result of not drinking enough fluids during hot weather. It generally develops when a person is playing, working or exercising outside in extreme heat. Symptoms include the following:

  • Dizziness, weakness, nausea, headache and vomiting
  • Blurry vision
  • Body temperature rising to 101°FSweaty skin
  • Feeling hot and thirsty
  • Difficulty speaking

A person suffering from heat exhaustion must move to a cool place and drink plenty of water to avoid heat stroke — an even more severe heat-related condition.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the result of untreated heat exhaustion. Symptoms include:

  • Absence of sweating
  • Unawareness of thirst and heat
  • Body temperature rising rapidly to above 101°F
  • Confusion or delirium  
  • Possible loss of consciousness or seizure

Heat stroke is a serious medical emergency that must be treated quickly by a trained professional. Until help arrives, cool the person down by placing ice on the neck, armpits and groin. If the person is awake and able to swallow, have them  drink 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes  or until help arrives.

Before Extreme Heat

To prepare for extreme heat, do the following:

  • Build an emergency kit and make a communication plan with your staff.
  • Listen to local weather forecasts so you can be aware of upcoming temperature changes.
  • Get trained in first aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.

Tips for Staying Cool

When a significant portion of your job is spent outdoors, whether it be on the river, walking campgrounds or leading hiking tours, don’t forget to keep yourself safe from the heat. Stay cool by following these safety tips:

  • Drink plenty of water. The average adult needs eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, and even more during hot weather. Always make sure you have enough water for yourself and your group before heading out.
  • Dress for the weather. When outside, wear lightweight clothing of natural fabric and a well-ventilated hat. Avoid wearing dark colors, because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Eat well-balanced meals. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
  • Apply sunscreen and regularly reapply it. Carry extra for your guests in case they forgot or need to reapply.
  • Find the shade. Set up underneath a tree or carry an umbrella with you for some added relief. When the sun isn’t directly hitting your skin, it can make all the difference.

 

Summer heat can be more than uncomfortable; it can be a threat to your health, especially for older adults and children. Whatever your age, don’t let the summer sun get the best of you. Be protected today, and  request a free CBIZ Sattler Adventure Sport Insurance quote.

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. In an actual claim situation, coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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