Treating and Preventing Dehydration During Summer Heat

Summer weather in Arkansas means fun in the sun with float trips, hiking and days spent at the pool. However, it also means increased risk for conditions such as heat stroke and dehydration. As temperatures approach and exceed 100 degrees, drinking water before and during outdoor activities is essential for preventing dehydration and heat exhaustion.

“Every 15-20 minutes you’ve got to be drinking fluids to keep yourself out of trouble,” said CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs primary care physician Dr. Gregory Whorton.

Exhaustion, dizziness, headache and nausea are the most common symptoms of dehydration, but children and elderly people are particularly at risk. Young children are often unaware of the dangers of heat exposure, while age and medications can cause further complications.

“Elderly people are less able to sense thirst than a younger person, so they may not recognize symptoms of dehydration until it’s further along than you’d like,” Dr. Whorton said.

Another popular choice for cooling off, sport drinks can restore electrolytes after a long day in the sun, but water remains the most effective solution. It’s recommended for children to drink approximately 30-50 ounces of water per day, while adults should consume 65-100 ounces each day.

To learn more about compassionate care at CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs, which serves patients and communities across the southwest region of Arkansas, visit: