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With years of experience in emergency medicine, Dr. Bonnie Simmons, now ProHEALTH’s Chair of Urgent Care, would always travel with water, toting a bottle to meetings and taking sips in between seeing patients.
“That is a challenge now because we’re nervous. We’re nervous to take the mask off and to drink liquids,” Simmons told Fox News.
As scorching summer days ensue and states enforce face masks amid spiking cases, Simmons offers advice on staying hydrated this season.
Common warning signs of dehydration can include a headache, rapid pulse and fatigue. Some people may feel jittery and a dry mouth can come later on, Simmons said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), water helps the body regulate temperature, cushion joints, protect the spinal cord and remove waste.
Simmons’ key advice this summer is to make a habit of consuming at least half a bottle of water before putting on a mask and heading out.
“If you notice three hours have gone by, try to get yourself outside and drink water again. I think drinking and walking, drinking and working, that’s where the challenge is,” she said. “We have to separate it.”
The two extremes of age, children and the elderly, tend to dehydrate more quickly, Simmons said. Some elderly people may have lost a mechanism in the brain signaling for thirst. While younger people wake up in the morning thirsty, the elderly may not feeling thirsty at all, she said.
“Combine that with coronavirus, face masks, and not having access to water, it brings even more trouble,” Simmons told Fox News.
As for children, parents may be more concerned about their child’s’ safety during playtime with face masks as opposed to liquid intake, and understandably so, Simmons says.
Nevertheless, she advises having white, light clothing and a baseball cap in addition to proper hydration.
“We’re not even at the point where we’re talking about collapsing, or lack of sweating, or runners who don’t drink enough water,” she said, emphasizing the importance of prevention. “I think that the issues here today are way earlier and that’s why we’re worried.”