10 Summer Heat Survival Tips
We all expect it to be warm in the summer, but no matter if you are on a playing field or a construction site too much heat can be dangerous. Extreme hot and humid conditions may reduce your body's ability to cool itself, which can lead to heat exhaustion and other heat-related illnesses. As temperatures rise, follow these simple steps to have a safe, fun, and healthy summer:
- Drink plenty of fluids: Drink more fluids, regardless of how active you are. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink.
- Wear appropriate clothing: Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- Stay cool indoors: Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library - even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Keep in mind: Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, they will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. Use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home.
- Schedule outdoor activities carefully: Try to limit your outdoor activity to when it's coolest, like morning and evening hours. Pace yourself if you're not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment. Rest often in shady areas so that your body has a chance to recover.
- Wear sunscreen: Sunburn affects your body's ability to cool down and can make you dehydrated. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions. Tip: Look for sunscreens that include "broad spectrum" or "UVA/UVB protection" on their labels. These products work best.
- Do not leave children or pets in cars: Cars can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures, even with a window cracked open. While anyone left in a parked car is at risk, children are especially at risk of getting heat stroke or dying. When traveling with children:
- Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
- To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front with the driver.
- When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.
- Know the signs: Learn the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses and how to treat them.
- Use a buddy system: When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your coworkers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness.
- Monitor those at high risk: Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others:
- Check for weather updates: Check your local news for extreme heat alerts and safety tips and to learn about any cooling shelters in your area.
*Information adapted from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention