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How to Survive Summer Bummers: Heat Stroke & Food Intoxication?

How to Survive Summer Bummers:

Heat Stroke & Food Intoxication?

Make sure that your day at the beach is just a day at the beach and not a trip to the emergency room, by paying attention to the warning signs of common summer bummers, such as heat stroke, food intoxication….

1.Heat Stroke:
Heat stroke can happen to workers who work under the sun and have no breaks to cool down and for older people also who live in a hot apartment with no air conditioning.
It is important to stay hydrated to avoid heat stroke by drinking Water or other drinks such as Gatorade that contain electrolytes which can help in replacing salt and retaining fluids.

What are the signs of heat stroke?
Knowing the signs is very important in order to avoid having heat stroke. Cramping in the legs is the first sign, and if that occurs, drink fluid and cool off until it goes away because if you don’t, it can lead to heat exhaustion and then heat stroke.
Cramping especially in the leg is a sign that the body is losing electrolytes and salt , and light sweating gives way to heavier sweating, feeling lightheaded and maybe a little nauseous, and then the heat stroke will hit you and your body will stop sweating and can no longer cool itself.
One of the dangers of heat stroke is that as the body gets hotter and hotter; your blood gets thicker and makes you more likely to have a stroke.
Other signs of heat stroke are: red, hot, dry skin, rapid pulse, throbbing headache, confusion and dizziness

What to do?
You have to let the body cool down naturally in early stages of heat exhaustion, but if you miss the signs and it progresses, put ice packs on the armpits, groin and neck where blood flows close to the surface.
Other ways to cool the body is by placing the person in a cool shower, immersing the body in cool water, or wrapping the person in a wet, cool blanket.

How to avoid?
•When you sweat too much, you need to come out of the sun.
•Don’t do anything under the sun for longer than 15 or 20 minutes because the body can lose a significant amount of water content from sweating and leads to heat stroke
•Whenever you are travelling you need to be prepared. Travel with a little first aid kit and make sure you have it with you wherever you go to save trips to the ER
•If you want to know if a kid is overheated, you have to check if they are complaining and have started to sweat. Remember if it gets to an extreme, they don’t sweat. If a child complains of lightheadedness, take them into a cool place and make sure they are hydrated with water or a sports drink.

2. Food intoxication:
There’s no summer without a barbecue. In order to make sure that your barbecue day goes off without an emergency trip to the restroom or the ER, you have to make sure that mayonnaise and salads with mayonnaise stay out of the sun. In addition, if these food items are brought from refrigerator directly to table go ahead and have some but don’t let them stand more than 15 minutes in the hot sun.

How to avoid?
•Think temperature, not color, for burgers
•Don’t count on pre-washed: wash even prewashed lettuce and other cut greens
•Beware the “danger zone”: The “danger zone” for bacteria reproduction is temperatures between 4°C and 60°C
•Defrost safely: letting meat or chicken stand on the counter are actually unsafe because as soon as they become warmer than 4°C, bacteria can begin to multiply .Thaw the barbecue’s meat in the refrigerator for 24 hours. You can also cook without thawing, though it will take about 50 percent longer than the cook time for thawed or fresh meat.

Christelle Bedrossian
Beirut, Lebanon



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Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian