SPOKANE, Wash. - In the extreme heat, applying sunscreen, seeking shade and drinking more water are the keys to staying safe.
Providence Urgent Care sees many patients struggling with dehydration during the summer months.
Physician Robert Lichfield said if you want to avoid their waiting room, it all comes down to upping your H20 intake.
“Typically on any other time of year you'd be drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day," Dr. Lichfield said."If you're outside on a super hot day you are probably going to double that.”
Don't be fooled by drinks like Gatorade, its high sugar content can actually be dehydrating.
“Soda is delicious and we all love it but its actually dehydrating as well especially caffeinated sodas because it drains, our bodies actually lose water when we drink caffeine,” Dr. Lichfield added.
Remember typical outdoor summer activities like heading to the beach and pool are no substitute.
Dr. Lichfield explained, “You still need to be hydrating just as much. Jumping in the water or the lake dissipates the heat but it doesn't hydrate you.”
Strenuous activities like cycling and running should be avoided during peak hours.
Dr. Lichfield explained that it is important to be aware of the earliest signs of dehydration, which include weakness, headaches and not sweating. If you experience these, get into shade and drink water.
It usually isn't necessary to seek medical attention until you cannot hold water down. To save money and time, Urgent Care could be the place to go, with cheaper costs and shorter wait times than the hospital emergency room.
“We can do IV fluids in our Urgent Care facilities and we do that routinely during the summer time because its a very common thing folks struggle with,” Dr. Lichfield said.