Dehydration is one cause of heat illness that all field biologists should avoid, and the signs of dehyration are easy to spot in yourself. Here are nine warning signs of dehydration.
Your best defense is prevention.
- Consume fluids before, during and after your work. Preferably water or electrolyte sports drink.
- Take breaks to cool off and provide time to rehydrate, if the day is especially hot.
- Wear proper clothing: light-colored, lightweight, and loose-fitting.
- Acclimatize yourself to hot weather as much as possible early in the summer.
- Share with others how you are feeling so you can get the rest, fluid, and medical attention you might need.
This is also a team effort. Properly monitor those you work with by having open discussions of how everyone is feeling. Field team leaders should be asking direct questions to assess if team members are taking care of themselves to help prevent an incident in the field. Machismo has no place in a properly working field team.
Stay safe out there!
Sources: emedicinehealth.com, kendrickfincher.org, U.S. Centers for Disease Control