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 SUMMER PRECAUTION

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king cobra

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Number of posts : 57
Registration date : 2009-03-16

PostSubject: SUMMER PRECAUTION   Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:00 pm

Dangers of Heat

The beautiful hot summers offer the best time for airsofters to play, but at the same time we must respect the summer heat. In the summer of 1980, a severe heat wave hit the United States, and nearly 1,700 people lost their lives from heat-related illness. Each year, high temperatures put people at risk. Playing airsoft in this kind of heat can be dangerous, if you do not understand the basics of heat related injuries and how the body deals with heat.
People suffer heat-related illness when the body's temperature control system is overloaded. The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn't enough. In such cases, a person's body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs.
Several factors affect the body's ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly. Other conditions that can limit the ability to regulate temperature include physical condition, old age, obesity, sickness, dehydration, heart disease, poor circulation, sunburn, and drug and alcohol use.
While in the playing field, measures must be made to aid the body's cooling mechanisms and prevent heat-related illness. This article is to help prevent, recognize, and cope with heat-related health problems before they start.
During Hot Weather or strenuous activity
To protect your health when temperatures are extremely high, remember to keep cool and use common sense. The following tips are important.
Drink Plenty of Fluid
Increase your fluid intake - regardless of your activity level. During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink 2-4 glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour.
Caution: If your doctor has prescribed a fluid-restricted diet or diuretics for you, ask your doctor how much you should drink.
During hot weather, you will need to drink more liquid than your thirst indicates. Just because you do not feel thirsty, it does not mean that you are not dehydrated. By the time you feel thirsty, it may be too late. Drinking plenty of liquids during exercise is especially important. However, avoid very cold beverages because they can cause stomach cramps. In addition, avoid drinks containing alcohol because they will actually cause you to lose more fluid.
Replace Salt and Minerals
Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. These are necessary for your body and must be replaced. The easiest and safest way to replace salt and minerals is through your diet. Drink fruit juice or a sports beverage during exercise or any work in the heat. Do not take salt tablets unless directed by your doctor. If you are on a low-salt diet, ask your doctor before changing what you eat or drink-especially before drinking a sports beverage.
Wear Appropriate Clothing and Sunscreen
Choose lightweight, breathable, loose-fitting clothing. This may be the hardiest thing to do since you are wearing long-sleeved BDUs, long pants, boots and , in some cases, load bearing gear or vests on top of that. All this layering of clothes prevent proper evaporation of perspiration that aids in the cooling of the body. Be CAREFUL!!! Also, a wide-brimmed hat (i.e., a boonie hat) will provide shade and keep the head cool. Cover your head with something.
Sunburn affects your body's ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin.
A variety of sunscreens are available to reduce the risk of sunburn. The protection that they offer against sunburn varies. Check the sun protection factor (SPF) number on the label of the sunscreen container. Select SPF 15 or higher to protect yourself adequately. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply according to package directions.
Pace Yourself No need for being Rambo!
If you are unaccustomed to playing or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity, get into a cool area, or at least in the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.
Stay out of the Sun
The most efficient way to beat the heat is to stay out of the sun. But of course, this is nearly impossible when we are playing out in the field. During breaks, sit under the shade of a tree. Or if it gets bad, start up the car and use the air-conditioner.
Schedule Outdoor Games Carefully
Try to plan your games so that you are outdoors either before noon or in the evening. While outdoors, rest frequently in a shady area. Resting periodically will give your body's thermostat a chance to recover.
Use the Buddy System
When playing in the heat, monitor the condition of your fellow players and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness. Remind each other to take a sip of water between games, or during a break in the action.
If you understand, recognize, and follow some of the steps that I have detailed above, you will have a better playing experience, but more importantly, a safer one. Have fun, and play safe.
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