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4 ways to avoid heatstroke this spring

If you're a fan of warm weather, consider yourself lucky. As The Weather Channel pointed out, spring 2016 is set to feature higher-than-normal temperatures in much of the country. And while that means more time for swimming and playing outside, it also means that everyone will need to exercise caution. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 2,000 people died of weather-related causes between 2006 and 2010, 31 percent of which were attributed to the heat. However, as Health Research Funding explained, 100 percent of heatstroke cases can be prevented with the right treatment.

"Between 2006 and 2010, over 2,000 people died annually of heat stroke."

Here are a few tips to keep in mind during especially warm days:

1. Know the signs
Heatstroke can affect people differently. Some people may feel it within just a few minutes of sun exposure, while others can last a little longer. No matter where you land, the King County Department of Public Health said there a few common indicators of heatstroke. The most obvious sign is red or dry skin. The person may also experience an elevated pulse and feelings of confusion and nausea. Less obvious is the individual's internal temperature; any reading above 103 degrees Fahrenheit is a good indicator that he or she is suffering from heatstroke.

2. Drink plenty of water
As the CDC pointed out, water is your No. 1 defense against heatstroke and similar ailments. No matter what you're doing, ensure you drink plenty of water. And don't just overload during the beginning or end of the day; you should continually consume water. Avoid cold water whenever possible; it may seem more pleasing, but it can ultimately cause stomach cramps. Finally, don't substitute soda or sports drinks for water. These beverages have added sugar that can actually dehydrate the body. 

3. Play it smart
Aside from drinking plenty of water, the best way to beat the heat is by avoiding it whenever possible. While that doesn't mean always staying inside, the American Red Cross suggested staying indoors during peak warm times. Though weather patterns may vary depending on where you live, the warmest part of the day is generally around 3 p.m., according to Old Farmer's Almanac. If you do go outside, avoid standing in direct sunlight unless you're wearing proper protection, including sunscreen and a hat. 

4. Wear proper clothing
Esquire magazine explained that the right clothes can make all the difference during especially warm days. As a rule, you want to wear loose-fitting clothing, which helps to increase airflow on and around your skin. As an extension of this, opt for textured patterns - like oxford, hopsack and seersucker - which also encourage air circulation. Also, wear lighter-colored clothing, which will block out ambient heat waves. Finally, don't leave the house without a bandana, which is great for wiping sweaty areas. 

If you or someone in your family does suffer from heatstroke or other weather-related ailments, you can always take your loved one to your local CareWell Urgent Care Center. Open all spring and summer long, CareWell's team of physicians can treat almost any injury and let you get back to your picnic or outdoor game in no time. 

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