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Travel Tip: Avoid Deadly Heat-Related Illness

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800px-Applying_sunscreenIt doesn’t take long for the sun to knock you out or cause a serious heat-related illness. Just a few hours in a theme park or sightseeing is all it takes to derail the rest of your trip.

Basic sunburn can happen in a matter of minutes—and yes, UV rays can burn you even if it’s cloudy.

Water and sand can increase the risk because they’re so reflective.

You’re also more likely to get burned at higher altitudes because the atmosphere is thinner.

Heat-related illnesses kill about 600 people a year—more than tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes COMBINED.

It doesn’t have to be sunny. High humidity or dehydration are major factors, leading to symptoms like leg cramps, nausea, and dizziness.

Heat stroke means your body can no longer regulate your internal temperature, and that is a medical emergency.

Bottom line: If you’re not used to a lot of sun, it’s easy to forget the most basic common sense rules.

Think about cooling-off periods, drinking liquids BEFORE you get thirsty, and wearing loose clothing. Sunscreen shouldn’t be reserved for vacation—it should be part of your daily routine.

For more information, visit the Health & Fitness archives.

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