We still have at least another 60 days of 100+ degree summer heat here in Lake Havasu. And although for many boaters those are ideal on-the-lake temperatures, it’s also a time for caution. Although you may think you’re acclimated to triple digits, that's not always the case.

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The enemy that’s always present is excessive dehydration. And it’s an evil kind of physical condition that can sneak up on you or people in your group when you least expect it.

It’s easy to get dehydrated when you’re out in a boat. Your attention is on other things like having fun and not so much. And sometimes you don’t recognize the symptoms of dehydration until it’s too late. That’s why every boater should understand the importance of staying hydrated, keeping bodily fluid levels balanced, and then what to do in the event of if dehydration sets in.

Case in point. Some years ago I was in Sarasota, Florida in July doing a photo shoot for a Chris Craft brochure. My photo team was divided up into three groups – one for on-water action – one for glamour features and one for interiors. My ‘interior’ photographer was skilled and did great work. His only fault was he was slow (in his defense he said he was meticulous).

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It was a typical early summer afternoon in Florida, low 90 degree temps with about 90 percent humidity. My interior guy was in the cabin of a 23’ cuddy model with little or no ventilation. The boat was also out of the water in the launch ramp parking lot. I was busy nearby but had lost track of time getting more feature shots done on another boat.

Suddenly we heard a couple of loud thuds coming from the cuddy cabin model. We rushed to see what happened and found our photographer lying half in and half out of the cabin on the cockpit floor. He was dehydrated and in the midst of a full-on heat stroke emergency. We immediately called 9-1-1 and used our ice chest ice to cool his over-heated body temperature until help arrived a few minutes later. He spent three days in the hospital before he was released but could not resume work. He doesn’t remember much of what happened before or after, just that it was really hot and then blacked-out. It was a sobering lesson about how serious dehydration and heat stroke can be.

Knowing the Signs of Signs of Dehydration Might Save a Life – Here’s What You Should Know:

Dehydration occurs when you lose too much fluid from your body. This can happen due to illness, but it can also be a problem for anyone with an active lifestyle, especially if the lost fluids aren’t replaced in a timely manner. Excessive sweating or too much sun exposure when out in a boat greatly increases the risk of dehydration.

You’ll know you’re dehydrated if you experience some of the following symptoms:

Infrequent urination
Urine that is unusually dark in color
Dry mouth
Brain fog or lack of focus
Feeling thirsty, beyond what a normal drink of water can quench

It may be hard to replenish lost fluids if you don’t take the proper precautions and you’re on the water all day. Follow these steps to prevent dehydration and the serious complications, such as seizures or low blood pressure, that can result from advanced dehydration. Be especially aware if there are young children on board

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How Best to Stay Hydrated:

Monitor Your Fluid Intake.
The most essential hydration tip is perhaps the most logical one: Keep fluids on the boat at all times. Water is ideal, as well as your favorite sports drinks or fruit juices. A standard recommendation is to consume 64 ounces of fluids each day, though you’ll want to increase that if you’re outdoors in a hot climate. Space the fluids out—try drinking up to 20 ounces before you go out on the boat, then sip steadily throughout the day, finishing with another 20 to 24 ounces after you get back to the dock. One handy rule of thumb: Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to have a drink because that’s a sign that you already lack fluids.

Watch Your Alcohol Consumption.

This one is easy for boat drivers: Always avoid drinking while driving if you’re the captain. If you’re a passenger, it’s OK to enjoy alcohol in moderation but don’t overdo it. Drinking can lead to an increase in urination, so you’ll be drained of fluids faster than normal. If you have an alcoholic beverage while boating, make sure to also drink plenty of water. Beer can sneak-up on you, it’s not a substitute for water or sports drinks.

Stock Your Cooler with Water-Heavy Snacks.

Drinks aren’t the only way to stay hydrated. Foods with a high water content can help boost your fluid intake throughout the day. Cut up vegetables are a good snack. Even better are fruits like watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, and pineapple.

Cover All Your Bases by Covering Up.

Limiting sun exposure is also key to preventing dehydration. During peak sunlight hours (typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.), remain under your boat’s bimini as much as possible and wear sunscreen. Stay cooler in lightweight, light-colored clothes that don’t absorb UV rays, and wear a big-brimmed hat.

What to Do If You Get Dehydrated:

It’s best to get off the boat as soon as possible if you or any of your passengers experience the symptoms of dehydration. You want to address the situation quickly so it doesn’t get worse. Catch dehydration early enough, and you can usually resolve the problem simply by drinking more fluids and resting out of the direct sunlight.

You’ll need more than just a drink of water if your symptoms intensify, though. You may require rapid rehydration, and IV therapy is one of the best ways to get that.

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There are a few things about IV treatment that work toward effective dehydration symptom relief. First, an IV solution provides top-notch ingredients your body needs for rehydration: vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. You can also add medications if needed, such as anti-nausea drugs.

Plus, those fluids are infused through a simple drip IV, which only takes about 30 to 45 minutes to administer. The IV solution goes right into your bloodstream, so you feel the effects sooner rather than later. On the other hand, oral rehydration solutions don’t get to work as quickly because they need to go through the body’s digestive system first. This also lowers their absorbency, so these oral medications lose their potency compared to IVs.

Finally, IV treatment is readily available. You can get an IV for dehydration at an emergency room or medical clinic, but there are also private IV services. If you’re dragging from dehydration, it’s wise to work with a mobile IV provider that can come to your home or hotel room. This is especially helpful if you’re feeling dizzy or confused from fluid loss, as this can impair your driving abilities.

One of the best IVs for dehydration symptom relief is the Myers’ Cocktail. This well-known IV bag contains vitamin B12, B Complex vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, and the antioxidant glutathione. It’s a proven combination that alleviates fatigue and helps you regain lost energy. You can also customize a Myer’s Cocktail with other supplements that may help speed your recovery.

You’ll receive the best results if you contact a reputable company for your IV therapy. There are several such providers along the Colorado River. Look for a provider with experience in the field with a staff of medical professionals who can safely monitor your treatment.

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Don’t let dehydration make your day on the water go from enjoyment to a situation with more dire consequences. Be smart and stay hydrated this summer.

More info available at -- mobileivnurses.com
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