The Dangers of Drinking Alcohol in Hot, Sunny Weather

by Katie Bogusz on July 11, 2017

During the summer many of us like to spend long hours outside enjoying the warm and sunny weather, especially after such a snowy winter!  If you choose to drink while enjoying this weather it’s important to understand some of the dangers associated with drinking outside in the hot and sunny weather.  Check out how alcohol can affect you differently in the warmer weather…

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Alcohol and the Heat: A Dangerous Combination

Drinking alcohol can cause dehydration.  Some of the symptoms of dehydration are an increase in thirst, a decreasing need to urinate, fatigue, dry mouth, dizziness, increased hear rate, rapid breathing, dark urine, and dry skin.  If you are only mildly dehydrated you can treat it by drinking more fluids.  However be sure to be drinking water or sport drinks and not drinks that contain high amounts of sugar because those can dehydrate you even more.  If your dehydration symptoms are serious it’s best to seek medical attention immediately.

Drinking can also cause heat stroke.  The alcohol you consume can cause you not to sweat, so you don’t cool off.  The symptoms for heat stroke are headache, dizziness, sluggishness, disorientation, confusion, loss of consciousness, hallucinations, seizures, and other symptoms which are similar to dehydration.  If you or someone you are with is suffering from heat stroke contact medical professionals immediately.

Drinking combined with outdoor activities is also dangerous.  Drinking alcohol before riding a bike, going swimming, or going out on a boat is extremely dangerous because your motor skills are not as effective.  Even if you are not operating the boat, there are still risks for falling off the boat.  Alcohol also impairs your judgement, so you may be tempted to do a more dangerous activity than you would if you were sober.

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How to Stay Safe this Summer

The best way to stay safe this summer if you choose to drink alcohol, is to not drink alcohol during hot summer days outside.  Although you may think you are being safe, alcohol can impair your judgement, and cause you to forget about drinking water or even protecting yourself from the sun’s rays.  If you are in a situation where you find yourself drinking outside under the hot summer sun take steps to protect yourself.  Pace yourself and keep yourself hydrated with water, choose to drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have.

Make sure you are wearing sun screen before you go out and bring a hat/sunglasses with you to be prepared if you stay out in the sun for a long period of time.  Finally do not operate a boat, go swimming, or do any other outdoor physical activity if you drink alcohol.  You are more likely to get seriously injured because your motor skills are negatively affected by alcohol.  To learn more about Outreach Education as well as the BSU Peer Educators: like the BSU Outreach Education page on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @bsuoutreach, and check out our calendar for upcoming events on the Involvement (IN) Network by visiting  https://bridgew.collegiatelink.net/ and searching for the BSU Peer Educators.

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