Posted on July 15, 2021
Heat can be a health risk - please stay cool and hydrated for your safety this summer. These tips may help:
In the house, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sun.
- Keep shades or drapes drawn on windows that get morning or afternoon sun.
- Shut off all non-essential lights and appliances. Limit the use of the stove and oven to keep indoor temperatures down.
- Stay in air conditioned shopping malls, libraries, and other community facilities during the warmest times of the day. If that’s not possible, place frozen plastic water bottles or a dish of ice cubes in front of fans. Run cold water over your wrists for 5 seconds every couple of hours to help cool your blood. Soak your feet in cold water or take cool baths or showers to lower your body temperature.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water regularly and often, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
- Limit intake of caffeine and alcoholic beverages. They can dehydrate your body.
- Avoid eating hot, spicy, or heavy foods. Eat lightly, like salads or fresh fruits with high water content, such as grapes, strawberries, or watermelon. Enjoy popsicles or frozen fruit.
- Avoid food poisoning, especially if cooking outdoors: keep food chilled; cook food well; and wash everything thoroughly.
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing.
- Protect your face with a wide-brimmed hat.
- Avoid too much sunshine and sunburns. Use sunscreen with a high SPF rating.
- Wear sunglasses with total UV protection, since eyes can get sunburned, too!
- Slow down; avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day. Limit activity to early morning or evening.
- Stay indoors as much as possible. If outside, take frequent breaks in the shade or air conditioning.
- Avoid mower injuries: keep kids away; wear protective eyewear and footwear.
- On the water, wear lifejackets; watch the weather; avoid alcohol.
- During a lightning storm; stay indoors away from windows, running water, and electrical appliances.
- Don’t leave pets outside for extended periods. Make sure they have plenty of drinking water and shade when outside.
- Don’t walk pets on hot sidewalks, asphalt, wood or metal walkways, or sand as these can burn their paws.
- Never leave people or animals alone in a closed vehicle, even if the windows are partially open. LOOK before you LOCK!
- Check on family, friends, and neighbors regularly to be sure they are not heat-stressed.
Symptoms of dehydration:
- Dry mouth; increased thirst
- Decreased urination; dark-colored urine
- Rapid heartbeat or breathing
- Dizziness; fainting
- Muscle cramps; weakness
- Usually mild to moderate dehydration can be reversed by drinking more fluids, but severe dehydration needs immediate medical treatment.
Warning signs of heat illness:
- A body temperature of over 103 degrees
- Dry and red skin with no sweating
- Rapid pulse
- Headache, dizziness, confusion or nausea
Those at highest risk for heat related illness include infants; young children; athletes; obese persons; those older than 65; and those with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or a mental illness. Seek medical attention immediately for any of these warning signs.