By Sharyn McErlean, Guild Trainer/Assessor
With Queensland summer in full swing and the increasingly frequent blistering heatwave, are you prepared to answer questions regarding hydration and dehydration from customers?
Did you know, the average adult should drink at least two to three litres of water per day, which equates to eight glasses? (Gunnars, 2015) It’s actually harder to maintain than you think, and in this Queensland heat, often we require more hydration than just the simple “8 glasses per day” rule.
Here are some simple things you can do to avoid heat-related dehydration this summer:
- On hot days consume an oral rehydration solution like Hydralyte if you are at risk of dehydration. Oral rehydration products come in a variety of formulation and flavours and there are products specifically designed for sports too. You can also find ready-to-drink 200ml rehydration products, which are perfect for the kid’s lunch boxes!
- Avoid exposure to heat and sun (Slip, Slop, Slap, Slide and SIP!)
- Limit physical activity on hot days, and ensure you replenish when you’re active!
- Place a cold pack or cooling towel on the back of the neck, to help cool the body down.
Around this time of year you may also find you’re selling additional pain relief medications with people more prone to headaches in the heat. In addition to asking your protocol questions, don’t forget to ask your customer’s how much water they have had today. It is a simple question that can help to identify or rule out dehydration as the cause of their pain.
If someone presents in your pharmacy with the below symptoms they may be suffering from dehydration:
- Sticky or dry mouth
- Increased thirst
- Dark yellow or decreased urine output
- Muscle cramps
- Lack of concentration
Anyone can suffer from heat-related illnesses, but those most at risk include:
- The elderly (especially those living alone with no air-conditioning)
- Infants and young children
- Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers
Remember, stay hydrated; be aware of the signs and symptoms of dehydration and look after friends and family who may be at a higher risk of dehydration.
With these few simple tips, you can be as cool as a cucumber all summer, and keep your customers cool and happy! Hopefully, winter isn’t too far away!
Kris Gunnar, (2015) ‘How much water should you drink per day?’ https://authoritynutrition.com/how-much-water-should-you-drink-per-day/
Hydralyte (2017) http://www.hydralyte.com.au/