Any Hot Tips For Staying Cool In Hot Sun?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ron, Jul 7, 2001.

  1. ron

    ron LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    Man it is soo darn Hot here in Florida...I have been drinking 2 gallons per day while out in the field,and using alot of sun screen
    There has to be a better way to stay cool.....
  2. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    you might get an old sunday shirt cut at the wrist and loose fitting.
    be sure its light colored cotton and very loose fittng.this is what many farm laborers do.they also use a headband. later
  3. ron

    ron LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    Sounds good I will try this Monday thanks
  4. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    Here is a post I copied last summer and saved. I did not save the authors name, so who ever it was, please let me know so I can add that to my saved post in Word. I do know it was a paramedic and I think it was Ray Kirby. I figured this was well worth reposting this time of the year.

    I'll have to disagree about temp changes causing death. Changes in body temps do not cause heat stroke, prolonged exposure to heat along with inadequate hydration does. Death from heat stroke is caused from massive blood vessel dilation (and low blood pressure) and high core temperatures which quickly cause brain damage and death. The last heat stroke victim I treated had a core body temp (rectal) of 108 after 30 minutes of cooling. He did not die of exposure to cooler temps, he died from prolonged exposure to the heat without cooling his body off and re-hydrating. ANY TIME YOU ARE WORKING IN EXTREMELY HOT CONDITIONS, ANY OPPORTUNITY TO COOL THE BODY OFF SHOULD BE A WELCOME ONE. The advise of staying away from the "aid" drinks and drinking water is right on the money.

    A little about the topic. Sweat consists primarily of water and some electrolytes, specifically sodium and chloride ions. As long as we can sweat and the sweat can evaporate, we can continue to cool ourselves efficiently. But if for some reason either the sweating mechanism begins to fail or the sweat cannot evaporate, then the cooling mechanism will fail.

    On hot, very humid days, our cooling mechanism is extremely inefficient, and it becomes relatively easy to overheat because the sweat cannot evaporate. The evaporation of sweat from skin accounts for 90% of our cooling ability, therefore cool air blowing from an A/C vent will help. Additionally, our ability to sweat diminishes as we become dehydrated.

    Heat Cramps

    Heat cramps are sometimes associated with heat exhaustion, are painful but not damaging unless they are ignored. As with any cramp, they can be stretched and massaged away. Drinking slightly salty water and resting should keep them from reappearing. If they do reappear, you should stop mowing and take the rest of the day off. Do not take salt tablets!

    Heat Exhaustion

    Heat exhaustion is not a life-threatening illness. Little or no rise in body core temperature will be noted and skin temps will be normal or even cool and moist. Symptoms include fatigue, exhaustion, nausea, lightheadedness and possibly heat cramps. Heat exhaustion usually comes on several hours after exertion and dehydration. You may have even replaced the lost fluids, but not the electrolytes.

    With enough rest and water, heat exhaustion is self-correcting. However, this condition can often be treated rapidly with an electrolyte solution consisting of one teaspoon of salt (sodium chloride) dissolved in a liter of water, which should be slowly sipped over a period of 60 minutes. Add a tablespoon of sugar or a sweet drink powder to replenish energy stores. It's better if the water is cold.

    Heat Stroke CALL 911!!!!

    Heat stroke, on the other hand, is a life-threatening emergency. Without proper care, heat stroke victims will most likely die! Once our cooling mechanism fails, core temperature rises rapidly. Death can occur in as little as 30 minutes. When the core temperature rises, the brain, which can only function in a very narrow temperature range, begins to fail. In an effort to cool the blood and lower the core temperature, the brain will dilate all the blood vessels in the skin. As a result, the skin becomes RED and HOT, but may still be WET. (Note: Classical heat stroke, suffered more commonly by the ill and/or elderly, usually produces HOT/DRY skin from severe dehydration.)

    As the brain overheats, the individual may become disoriented, combative, argumentative, and may hallucinate wildly. The primary goal of therapy is to cool the victim as rapidly as possible. Since the sweating mechanism has failed, we have to sweat for the patient. The simplest and most effective method is to remove all non-cotton clothing and soak the victim with water, fanning to increase the rate of evaporation, and massaging extremities to encourage the return of cool blood to the core. With a limited supply of water, cooling the head and neck becomes the top priority. If available, ice packs should be placed at the neck, armpits and groin, in that order. All heat stroke victims must be transported to the hospital as quickly as possible, continuing the cooling process during evacuation.

    Heat stroke victims are dehydrated and require rehydration. Unfortunately, getting the patient to drink may be impossible. With impaired mental condition, it is inappropriate to force fluids or aspiration may occur. Continue cooling externally in hopes the patient will recover enough to begin oral rehydration.


    Heat stroke, like all heat-related illnesses, is preventable. The same prevention methods that work for dehydration and exhaustion will work for heat stroke. The guiding principle is to stay well hydrated. Do not rely on your thirst mechanism to tell you when and how much you need to drink. Under conditions of exertion, it is probably impossible to drink too much water. Note urine output also.

    Everyone can take any information for what it's worth, it's your life. However the acclimation of heat and increasing body temps will put you at more risk. For me a simple cool down every 35-45 minutes is more than welcome.

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 665

    liquids are a must and 2 gallons should be plenty.
    Here's what really works for me. Wear a ball cap
    and dump water on your head every stop. Put the cap
    back on. You will feel like you just got out of a
    pool. Really! :blob3:
  6. ron

    ron LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    WOW thanks for that advise,hey i did get heat stroke back in my US ARMY days up in S.Korea 1986 and boy was that painfull.. I think drinking water will be the clue here and keep cool....
  7. CommercialCuts

    CommercialCuts LawnSite Member
    from Mo
    Messages: 37

    Take hand towel soak in water and lay it around your neck and dangle on your chest. will suprise you how cool it will keep you. every time it dries out soak it again. they have similar products in the store but i found this works the best. Stay cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  8. Lee Homan

    Lee Homan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    Just had a mole removed from the back of my neck about 2 weeks ago. Close call thought it was cancer but came back negative. I apply 30 spf sunscreen religiously and still have to watch it. Since than I have been putting a small towel under my cap and letting it cover the back of my neck. This has really cut down on the heat. You can also buy the caps with the cover already attached. May not look like the smartest person but it will cut down on the chance of getting melanoma and keep you a little cooler too.
  9. Leonard

    Leonard LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 24

    I agree with Matthew about dumping water on your head every now and then. It does help keep you cool, and makes you feel fresh out of the swimming pool, but NEVER underestimate what DRINKING THE STUFF can do for you. If you are in an area where high temps and high humidity is a prob, drink more than enough H20. You're losing an awful lot when you sweat so be sure and keep the supply up to meet the demand.

    Also, constantly going in and out of extreme temps can make you nauseas so try to avoid doing that. My next door neighbors are having their carpet replaced and the contractor goes in-and-out of the house nonstop so he can measure, and then cut the carpet outside on the driveway. After about 1/2 a day of this he complained of dizzyness and then left a nice present in their beautifully manicured lawn. I'll have to remember to tell their LCO to watch out for the leftover lunch the carpet guy left for them.

  10. Just Turned Pro

    Just Turned Pro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 109

    In addition to those suggestions, try shirts made out of Cool Max or another similar material. You can usually find these at bicycle stores or at police supply stores. Most brands have professional style polo shirts, similar to the kind that bike patrol or marine patrol officers wear. They do a great job at keeping you cool and looking professional. The downer is that they tend to be a little spendy. If you are not picky about colors, you can usually get good prices on seconds or shirts that did not meet police specs.

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