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How to Stay Healthy During a Heat Wave

  • 31st July 2012 |
  • Author: Iris
Heat Wave Tips

Heat Wave

The heat has been brutal this year!   In the United States, there have been record-breaking heat waves over the past several months throughout the country.  Five states had more than 100 record temperatures broken in June 2012.  Thus far, Texas has had 237 records broken, followed by Colorado (226), Kansas (164), Missouri (126), and Arkansas (115).

Heat-related illnesses and deaths have also risen with the temperature.  Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year. Excessive heat claims more lives each year than floods, lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes combined.  According to the National Weather Service, there were over 200 heat-related deaths last year.

People at greatest risk for heat-related illness are the elderly, the very young, people with acute/chronic illness, those with cognitive impairments, people taking certain medications, and people who work outside.

To avoid heat-related illnesses, you need to take precautions:

  • Stay indoors where it is cooler and there is air conditioning;
  • Stay out of direct sun and wear sunblock or sunscreen of SPF 15 or greater;
  • Drink plenty of water or other hydrating fluids; avoid alcoholic, caffeinated, and sugary beverages;
  • Wear light-colored, lightweight and loose clothing;
  • Run errands or exercise in the early morning or late evening hours;
  • Eat well-balanced, lighter meals and eat them more frequently; and
  • Invest in an air conditioner, not fans, because fans only move hot air around.

In addition to protecting the sick, elderly, and children, remember to protect your pets from the extreme heat!  Never leave a pet or any person in a hot car with the windows rolled up … not even for a few minutes.  Make sure all animals have plenty of fresh water and are able to move out of direct sunlight to a shaded area or some covered shelter.

Heat-related illnesses and deaths are 100% preventable.  Take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and others who are vulnerable.  Call 911 in case of a heat-related illness because heat stress, heat exhaustion and heat stroke can result in death..

1 Comment

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