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Dehydration (cont.)

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Can dehydration be prevented?

  • Environment: Dehydration due to the weather is a preventable condition. If possible, activities should not be scheduled in the heat of the day. If they are, adequate fluids should be available, and cooler, shaded areas should be used if possible. People should be monitored to make certain they are safe. Those working in hot environments need to take care to drink plenty of fluids and be self-aware of their condition. In heat waves, it is important to routinely check on neighbors, especially the elderly or those that do not have air conditioning.
  • People exercising and working in a hot environment need to drink adequate amounts of water. People can become dehydrated while playing in the ocean, lakes, or pools if the water and environmental temperatures are warm enough.
  • Age: The young and elderly are most at risk because of poor temperature regulation systems. During heat waves, attempts should be made to check on the elderly in their homes. During the Chicago heat wave of 1995, more than 600 people died in their homes from heat exposure.
  • Heat related conditions: Know the signs and symptoms of heat cramps, heat rash, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Preventing dehydration is one step to avoid these conditions.

Additional resources from WebMD Boots UK on Dehydration

REFERENCE: Longo D, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2011.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/3/2014

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