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10 Summer Heat Survival Tips

Keep cool to stay healthy and safe in hot weather

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:

  1. Drink plenty of fluids: Drink more fluids, regardless of how active you are. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink.
  2. Wear appropriate clothing: Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Know the signs: Learn the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses and how to treat them.
  8. 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.
  9. Monitor those at high risk: Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others:
  10. 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

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