Wednesday, 26 June 2019
(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

Prevent Summer Dehydration. Recommendations from the Israel Ministry of Health.

prevent dehydration glass of waterA heat wave into Friday - temperatures 7ºC - 14°C above normal.  Summer in Israel can be fun but it can also be a killer.  Head outdoors, enjoy the water parks and beaches but during extreme conditions, like a Hamsin or Sharav, or when the RealFeel Temperature is higher than the actual temperature, it's important to take care. Follow a few simple rules - enjoy the sun, prevent dehydration and protect your health!

The RealFeel Temperature includes: temperature, humidity, cloud cover, sun intensity and wind to explain how hot it feels outside.

Basic tips

Stay in the shade especially during midday.

Wear clothes that protect exposed skin.

Wear a broad-rimmed hat to casts a shadow on your face, head, ears and neck.

Wear sunglasses that cover your face and block UVA and UVB radiation.

Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15-50 which protects against both UVA and UVB.  Apply to all exposed regions of skin, 15 - 30 minutes before going into the sun or the water and re-apply every 40 -80 minutes

Prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water

Drink, drink, drink! The body starts to lose water before we even feel thirsty. In healthy people, the color of urine serves as an indicator: light colored urine indicates adequate drinking while dark urine is a sign that you need to drink.‎ 

Drink water rather than sweet beverages. Coffee and tea contain caffeine, a diuretic, but they still constitute a beverage.

How much should we drink?

Under normative conditions The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States suggests we should be drinking:

Age​ ​Boys Girls​
​1-3 ​0.9 liters per day (4 cups) ​​0.9 liters per day (4 cups)
​4-8 ​1.2 liters per day (5 cups) ​​1.2 liters per day (5 cups)
​9-13 ​​1.8 liters per day (8 cups) ​1.6 liters per day (7 cups)
​14-18 ​​2.6 liters per day (11 cups) 1.8 liters per day (8 cups)
18+ 8 cups per day 8 cups per day


Causes & Types of Dehydration

Dehydration is caused when the fluid balance in the body is disrupted often during prolonged physical activity, or where loss of fluids mainly through sweat, exceeds the consumption of fluids.‎
There are 3 grades of dehydration.
  1. Mild dehydration: accompanied by thirst and maybe redness in the face, nausea, rapid pulse, restlessness and agitation
  2. Moderate dehydration: accompanied by dizziness, headaches and possibly nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, rapid pulse and severe weakness
  3. Severe dehydration: manifests in severe impairment of levels of consciousness, disturbances with vision and hearing as even hallucinations.

Treating Dehydration

  1. Stop strenuous activity
  2. Relax in a cool or shared area
  3. Begin fluid restoration with small amounts of water, gradually.‎ If symptoms of vomiting and confusion are present, intravenous infusion of fluids is necessary. Seek medical assistance during and episode of severe dehydration.

What is heat stroke exactly?

Heat stroke is a serious condition in which the body produces extra heat. Heat stroke can occur even if you drink a lot and you are properly hydrated. 

There are two types of heat stroke:

  1. Classic heat stroke commonly seen in the elderly and in infants. Heatstroke is common during heat waves. Never leave children unattended in a closed car.  Heat stroke develops rapidly, body system failure and death can result. Please be careful.
  2. Exertional heat stroke in healthy people engaged in strenuous physical activity, usually in a very hot and humid environment.‎  Signs of exertional heat stroke include excessive sweating and a pale skin as opposed to the dry, hot and red skin in classic heat stroke.

Signs of heat stroke

Early signs could be: dizziness, extreme weakness, hallucinations, instability, seizures, impaired speech,  sweating, confusion, increased heart and respiration rates. The patient could even lose consciousness.

How is heat stroke treated?

Seek medical assistance urgently.‎

Look before you leave! Never leave the elderly, children or pets unattended in a car.

 Know who's near. Locate oleh-friendly, English speaking professionals near you.