Do you have questions about health information? In this column, nurses from the UW-Madison School of Nursing will answer common health and wellness questions and help us figure out FACT from FICTION.
I want to garden or walk outside in the summer, but am not sure I can protect myself from heat stroke.
FACT: Heatstroke is predictable and preventable. Take these steps to prevent heatstroke during hot weather:
Get used to the heat. Limit the time you spend working or exercising in the heat until you’re conditioned to it. People who are not used to hot weather can be at risk for heat-related illness, including heatstroke. It can take several weeks for your body to adjust to hot weather.
Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing. Wearing too many clothes or clothing that fits tightly won’t allow your body to cool properly.
Wear light-colored clothing if you’re in the sun. Dark clothing absorbs heat. Light-colored clothing can help keep you cool by reflecting the sun’s rays.
Drink plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated will help your body sweat and maintain a normal body temperature.
Take it easy during the hottest parts of the day. Go outside during the coolest parts of the day, such as early morning or evening. Take breaks to rest in a cool spot and keep drinking water to help your body regulate your temperature.
Be cautious if you’re at increased risk. If you take medications or have a physical condition that increases your risk of heat-related problems, avoid the heat and act quickly if you notice symptoms of overheating.
Mary Hill has been volunteering at NESCO for 15 years. She is one of our Front Office Volunteers. You can find her here every Monday morning. When she is volunteering, Mary answers the phone, directs calls to staff, and record program appointments. She also makes calls as needed to remind people of appointments, fax Foot Care Clinic appointment to the appropriate site, and welcomes people who walk into the office needing information.
Mary volunteers because it gives her a feeling of “self-worth” and keeps her mentally alert and attentive to civic issues happening. She enjoys being able to interact with and help with all ages the most.
Outside of NESCO, Mary volunteers at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in various areas two or three times a month. She also enjoys to watch old shows on TV, crochet, do the State Journal’s crossword puzzles, and play solitaire on the computer in her free time.
Mary was born and raised on a farm between Platteville and Dubuque. She moved to Madison after graduating from High School, and married an Airman from Truax Field. Together, they moved to many different states. After her husband passed away, she moved back to Madison in early 1986, and began working as a nurse’s aide at Central Colony. Mary has 9 children, and was in the hospital three times on Mother’s Day with new babies to take home!! She has 21 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, and 7 great, great grandchildren
For more information about Madison’s North/Eastside Senior Coalition, please visit: www.NESCOinc.org