With temperatures often hitting the 90s (°F) (or over 34°C for our European friends), it’s no surprise that it can be a bit of a shock to the system arriving here in the Riviera Maya if you aren’t used to this kind of heat.
I know that the guests on our tours are regularly noticing the pressure of being in the intense Carribean heat. Which is why we put together this guide to help you prepare for your tour and prevent succumbing to heat exhaustion.
The good thing is that heat exhaustion and stroke is preventable if you take the right steps. By ensuring you follow along with the advice in this guide you will be able to enjoy our tours without experiencing heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Here are our top tips for avoiding heat exhaustion or stroke on your tour.
How to Prevent Heat Exhaustion on Vacation
1. Wear loose, lightweight clothing.
Wearing excess clothing or clothing that fits tightly won’t allow your body to cool properly. Think breathable tees that also keep your skin from getting too much sun exposure.
2. Protect against sunburn.
Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself, so protect yourself outdoors with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every hour, or more often if you’re swimming or sweating.
Remember to take extra precaution if you have sunburn, or if you are overweight, dehydrated, or hungover.
3. Drink plenty of water.
Hydration will help your body sweat and maintain your normal body temperature.
4. Be aware of any medications you take.
Check symptoms for heat-related problems. Some medications can affect the body’s ability to stay hydrated and dissipate heat.
5. Take it easy during the hottest parts of the day.
If you can’t avoid strenuous activity in hot weather, drink fluids and rest frequently in a cool spot. Take your time as you move from one activity to another.
6. Get acclimated to the heat.
Try to limit your time spent in the heat and sun. If you are not used to hot weather, take extra precaution, as your body will be more susceptible to heat-related illness. Sometimes it can even take weeks for your body to adjust to hot weather.
7. Think about your medical history.
If your family has a history of strokes or heart diseases, or if you have any allergies, take extra precaution.
Our guides will also do their part in helping you to avoid heat exhaustion. This means we will always pack umbrellas and have plenty of extra water on hand to keep you cool and hydrated.
It’s also important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. If you know the signs, you can immediately take steps to heal yourself.
Heat exhaustion or heat stroke can take just a few minutes to develop, or they can develop gradually over several hours or days.
Here are the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
- Tiredness and weakness
- Feeling faint or dizzy
- A decrease in blood pressure
- Muscle cramps
- Feeling and being sick
- Heavy sweating
- Intense thirst
- A fast pulse
- Urinating less often and having much darker urine than usual
If untreated, heat exhaustion and heat stroke can lead to confusion, disorientation, seizures, and a loss of consciousness. Lastly, we have some tips on what to do if you see these symptoms arising. If you see someone else experiencing the symptoms of heat exhaustion or stroke, please follow these steps.
Steps for treating heat exhaustion and heatstroke
- Lie down in a cool place, such as a room with air conditioning, the van or somewhere in the shade.
- Remove any unnecessary clothing to expose as much of the skin as possible to cool the body.
- Use anything available, like a cool, wet sponge or flannel, cold packs, or cold water bottles around the neck and armpits. You can also get a cool, wet sheet to fan the skin while it’s moist.
- Once cooled down a bit, hydrate with water, fruit juice, a re-hydration drink, such as a sports drink.
Recovery should take about thirty minutes. Your guide will get medical help if the heat exhaustion or heat stroke is serious. Your guide will also continue to treat anyone with these symptoms until the medical help arrives.
Elderly people, babies, and young children are most susceptible to heat-related illness. Long-term health conditions like diabetes or heart or lung conditions will also be more likely to get heat exhaustion or stroke. Anyone already ill or dehydrated is also at risk.
Do you have any tips to prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke that we didn’t mention?
Have you ever experienced these heat-related illnesses? Share with us in the comments! Prefer to stay in the shade?
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to write in the comment section below or send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.