As temperatures soar to sweltering levels during heat waves, it’s important to take precautions against heat-related illness. When heat spikes lead to consecutive days of excessively hot weather, you need to be vigilant about safety measures. Extreme heat can result in dangerous conditions like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
Stay Hydrated & Cool
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, even if you aren’t feeling thirsty. Avoid sugary or alcoholic drinks which can dehydrate you faster. Take frequent breaks in a shaded or air-conditioned area if working or playing outdoors. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that promotes airflow and sweat evaporation.
Apply Sunscreen & Get Some Shade
Apply sunscreen regularly and often when in the sun. Remember the peak sun hours are between 10am to 4pm: if possible, reduce your time in the sun whenever you can. Exercise or do yardwork early in the morning or evening when it’s cooler. Seek shade under trees, umbrellas or structures as much as possible.
Cool Off While Indoors
Keep shades drawn and blinds closed to block the sun from heating your home. Run fans, take cool showers, and avoid cooking indoors when the temperature spikes.
Check In On Others
Check on elderly neighbors or relatives to ensure they have adequate cooling and hydration. Never leave children or pets alone in vehicles, which can quickly turn deadly.
Watch For Signs of Heat Exhaustion
Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion like heavy sweating, cold or clammy skin, fast pulse, nausea, and muscle cramps. If these symptoms are ignored, they can progress to heat stroke, which is a medical emergency. Signs of heat stroke include a high body temperature above 103°F, red or flushed skin, rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and unconsciousness. If you or someone else experiences these severe symptoms, call 911 right away.
Be aware of local weather forecasts and excessive heat alerts to reduce the risk of heat-related illness. Take it easy during the hottest parts of the day and spend time in air conditioning if possible.
With preparation and vigilance against overheating, you can stay safer during summer scorchers. Keep hydrated, take frequent breaks, wear appropriate clothing, and listen to your body’s signals. Remaining informed on heat stroke warning signs allows you to act quickly in an emergency. Follow these tips to beat the heat during the dog days of summer.