With temperatures indexing over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in at least 20 states across the country, the ongoing heat wave has been making more than headlines. The extreme heat and humidity have caused serious health problems for many individuals, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion and fatal heat stroke for those who haven’t taken the proper precautions. Most heat disorders occur from being overexposed to heat or over-exercising. Older adults, young children, and those who are sick or overweight should take extra precautions.
Beat the heat over the following week by taking simple steps to stay cool.
– Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
– Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available.
– Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings with circulating air.
– Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Avoid salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
– Drink plenty of water. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease; are on fluid-restricted diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake.
– Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
If you must work or go outside:
– Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Despite conventional wisdom that we put on long-sleeves and pants to warm up when cold, we can do the same to cool off when the sun causes us to overheat.
– Protect face and head from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat. Choose a hat with a 3” brim or greater.
– Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.
Visit FEMA to learn more about signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke and see all of their suggestions on how to prepare for extreme heat.
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