Not only is today the longest day of the year, it’s shaping
up to be one of the hottest. Heat can be a killer – especially for those over
age 65, people with chronic medical conditions, and infants/children.
The No. 1 thing you can do to beat the heat is air
conditioning. If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, plan to spend
time in places that do – such as shopping malls, public libraries, movie
Drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic beverages and increase
your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level.
People suffer heat-related illnesses when their bodies are
unable to compensate and properly cool themselves. Several factors affect the
body’s ability to cool itself. Humidity interferes with sweat evaporation. Age,
obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation,
sunburn, prescription medications and drug/alcohol abuse also have an effect.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer the
following tips to staying healthy in the heat:
• Drink plenty
of fluids. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. If you are on fluid
restrictions, be sure to talk with your doctor about what’s right for you.
• Replace salt
and minerals. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in
sweat. Again, if you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor.
appropriate clothing and sunscreen.
outdoor activities for the morning or evening, when it’s typically cooler.
yourself. If you’re not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot
environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually.
• Stay cool
indoors. If you don’t have air conditioning, seek places that do. A cool shower
or bath can also help.
• Watch out
for others, especially those who are at greater risk. Ask others to watch out
• DO NOT leave
children, the elderly, or pets in cars, even if the windows are cracked open.
Temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees in just the first 10 minutes.
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