BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – This weekend is all about beating the heat in the Mahoning Valley, so a lot of people went straight to local pools and splash pads to cool off.
But, even if you feel cool in the water, your body could still be dehydrated or suffering from heat exhaustion. Fighting the heat takes more than drinking water or staying in the shade under an umbrella.
“If you’re not going to the bathroom often, you’re not hydrated,” said YMCA Aquatics Director Chris Hughes.
Kids six to 10 should drink eight cups of water per day and even more when they’re outside. For people 16 and older it’s double that amount, they should be drinking 16 cups of water per day.
“Drinking clean water and then making sure that you’re eating as well. I know sometimes when you’re in the heat you don’t feel like eating, but if you’re not eating, your sugars drop,” Hughes said.
Some foods like cucumbers, grapes and watermelon are also sources of hydration. Hughes had a good tip for parents who can’t get their children to eat fruit or drink water.
“Making your own popsicles with water and real fruit,” she said.
Dizziness, fatigue, nausea and rapid heart-beating are all signs of dehydration and at extreme levels, heat exhaustion.
“Cool sips of water, cool cloth on the forehead, arm pits, ice packs under the arm pits, on their forehead, under their knees, wrists, all of those places help cool the body down,” Hughes said.
Three other factors besides not drinking enough water could also lead to problems in the heat, using prescription drugs, being stressed and having a low-carbohydrate diet. These factors can lower your tolerance in fighting hot weather.