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Stay Cool and Be Safe This Summer

Illustration of a woman wearing a floppy hat under the sunThis is a guest post by Nicole Eret, Harper College Motorcycle Safety Program Assistant Coordinator

In the Motorcycle Safety Program, we spend a lot of time thinking about and practicing safety. This goes even beyond what is directly related to the operation of a motorcycle. For example, we need to consider (and help students consider) the increasing heat outdoors during much of our season. There are two heat-related illnesses to watch out for: heatstroke and heat exhaustion.



Heat exhaustion, while serious, is the less severe of the two conditions. Symptoms include:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, pale, clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache

Heatstroke is more severe and requires emergency medical attention (calling 911). Symptoms include:

  • High body temperature (103° F or higher)
  • Hot, red, dry, or damp skin
  • Fast, strong pulse
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness (passing out)

To avoid experiencing either of these conditions, there are multiple things you can do to protect yourself. They include:

  • Wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
  • Taking regular breaks in an air-conditioned space
  • Staying hydrated – don’t wait until you’re thirsty or out in the heat to drink
  • Pacing yourself, especially if you’re unaccustomed to long stretches outdoors
  • Staying informed – check your local weather for heat advisories and plan accordingly

Now that you know how to approach the warmer weather safely, you and your loved ones can enjoy all manner of outdoor activities, from barbecues to sporting events. You might even consider an outdoor learning opportunity offered through Harper Community Education, like motorcycle safety classes. More information can be found at www.harpercollege.edu/motorcycle.




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