During times of cold weather, it is easy to overlook dehydration. If a person is
not sweating and remains cool, it is easy to forget that nothing has been drank
In warmer weather, the airplane will likely be hot and have no air conditioning.
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke occur suddenly. Under normal circumstances, a
person is able to stop working and take action concerning dehydration and
overheating. In an airplane, however, the pilot must continue to perform in
order to land the airplane. He or she is unable to deal with the overheating on
For this reason, it is a good idea to take along a some cold drinks, such as
water or Gatorade-style drinks, which are well suited for keeping a person
hydrated. Drinks such as coffee, soda, milk, or energy drinks should be avoided,
since they are not the best for staying hydrated. These types of drinks may even
Stay aware of your level of hydration, instead of waiting to become thirsty. Two
to four quarts of water per day is recommended for the average person. However,
each person's body manages their hydration with different efficiencies. Some
people might require more or less. Extra water should be consumed to compensate
for physical activity and loss of water through sweating, as well.
Symptoms of dehydration include headache, fatigue, cramps, sleepiness, and
If a person begins to overheat, they will enter the first stage of overheating,
heat stress. Heat stress occurs when a person's body temperature is one or two
degrees above normal. A person with heat stress is less alert, makes decisions
more slowly, and often has impaired vision and coordination.
As the person continues to overheat, the problems become more severe. The person
will exhibit symptoms based on the individuals reaction to heat exhaustion. Some
people will become tired or faint, while others might become careless and giddy.
Rapid breathing, cramping, and nausea or vomiting may occur. A person with heat
exhaustion has a body temperature between 101 and 105 degrees.
If the body temperature exceeds 105 degrees, the body will encounter the limit to
its ability to cope. The person will become confused and exhibit strange
behavior. They will likely become disoriented, and may report no longer feeling
hot, or even feeling cold. Heat induced coma follows.