Monday, June 29, 2015
Monday, June 22, 2015
Hot weather: How to stay cool and safe
When outside temperatures are very high, the danger for
heat-related illnesses rises. People's bodies are not able
to cool themselves quickly enough, and they overheat. In
severe instances, people can suffer heat stroke, which
can cause death or permanent disability if emergency
treatment is not provided.
Older adults, young children, and people with mental
illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk for heatrelated
illness. But even young and healthy individuals can
suffer in heat if they participate in strenuous physical
activities during hot weather.
You can protect yourself and loved ones against very hot
temperatures by following these recommendations:
Spend more time in air conditioned places. If you
don't have air conditioning, consider visiting a
mall, movie theater or other cool public places.
Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon
Dress in lightweight clothing.
Check up on your elderly neighbors and relatives
to take these precautions too.
Drink plenty of water. Avoid drinks with caffeine,
alcohol and large amounts of sugar because they
can actually de-hydrate your body.
Have a beverage with you at all times, and sip or drink frequently. Don't wait until you're
thirsty to drink.
If you go outside:
Limit the time you're in direct sunlight.
Do not leave infants, children, people with mobility challenges and pets in a parked car,
even with the window rolled down.
Avoid or reduce doing activities that are tiring, or take a lot of energy.
Do outdoor activities in the cooler morning and evening hours.
Avoid sunburn. Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.
Certain medications may increase sensitivity to the heat. If you are concerned about the heat
and the medications you are taking, check with your doctor. Do not take salt tablets unless your
doctor tells you to.
Recognizing heat exhaustion and heat stroke
When people's bodies can't cool themselves quickly enough it can cause heat exhaustion.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea
and vomiting. If you see someone with signs of overheating, move the person to a cooler location,
have them rest for a few minutes and then slowly drink a cool beverage. Get medical attention for
them immediately if they do not feel better.
Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which can cause death or permanent disability unless
Symptoms of heat stroke include:
An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)
Red, hot, and dry skin
Rapid, strong pulse
Nausea, confusion and unconsciousness