Stay Cool as the Summer Heats Up

Already we are experiencing soaring summer temperatures. Extreme heat can pose a significant health risk– especially for the elderly, young children and those with chronic medical conditions. Notably, anyone participating in strenuous activities in high temperatures is at a significant risk for heat-related illnesses.

Follow these tips to stay safe in the summer heat:
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day – don’t wait until you feel thirsty. Avoid coffee, alcohol or sugary drinks before going in the sun.
  • Protect against sunburn. Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself, so protect yourself with broad-spectrum sunscreen, even if you’re only in the sun periodically.
  • Pay attention to warnings on medications. Check the provided information on any medicines you may be taking for warnings about heat-related problems. Many common medications can affect the body’s ability to stay hydrated or dissipate heat.
  • Take it easy during the hottest parts of the day. Only exercise or perform physical labor during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening. In the middle of the day, take regular breaks in air-conditioned spaces.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing. Wearing excess clothing or clothing that fits tightly won’t allow your body to cool properly. Dark clothing also traps heat (When wearing less clothing, don’t forget the sunscreen!).

When spending time in the sun, always monitor for signs of heat exhaustion, including headache, dizziness, nausea, and heat rash. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should immediately try cooling measures such as drinking cold water, taking a cool shower or applying wet towels to exposed skin. If symptoms do not improve, seek medical attention.

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