Whether it’s 90 degrees and humid or 70 degrees and cloudy, summer is just around the corner. That means it’s time to prepare and plan your summer fun! For individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome, summer fun must include plans for heat precaution as they often have difficulty regulating body temperature and can overheat easily.
Here are some tips to help keep your loved one safe when the temperature rises:
- Capitalize on the cooler temperatures in the early morning and evening and plan your outdoor activities during those times.
- Carry an umbrella with you to block out the sun’s direct rays.
- Always wear sunscreen!
- Keep frozen water bottles or cold drinks with you at all times.
- Cool your car down before getting into it.
- Keep battery operated fans in your car and larger fans in your home.
- When traveling, keep a cooler with ice packs, wet towels, and water bottles with you in case of a heat-related emergency.
- Technology is advancing and that includes body cooling technology. Invest in a cooling vest, frogger towel, or cooling gel pads which can all found in your local sporting goods store.
Despite taking precautions, your loved one may experience a heat-related problem such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is an urgent situation that includes heavy sweating, rapid pulse, dizziness, fatigue, goose bumps, and often nausea and headache. A person with PWS might not experience all these symptoms, so look for red cheeks, exhaustion, and fatigue. If you suspect your loved one is has heat exhaustion you must work quickly to cool them down. Move them into a cool place with good air circulation, remove any wet clothing, and use cold, wet towels to cool the skin. Focus on the arm pits, neck, and groin as the largest blood vessels are in those areas.
Heat stroke is an emergency and requires immediate medical assistance…Call 9-1-1! When someone is suffering from heat stroke they are no longer sweating, and they might be confused and even collapse. While waiting for first responders to arrive, continue all efforts mentioned above to rapidly reduce body temperature.
We hope you have a wonderful summer! Please send us your summer fun pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to complete this photo consent form and return it with your photos to the email address above.