Summer Safety and Health Topic: Don’t Over Heat
Summer is here and so is the heat. Whether you are working outside or just having fun in the sun, it is important to monitor weather conditions during extreme heat conditions. Severe heat may cause illness or even death.
When temperatures rise to extreme highs, reduce risks by taking the following precautions:
- Listen to local weather forecasts and stay aware of upcoming temperature changes.
- Stay indoors and in an air-conditioned environment as much as possible.
- Hydration is important; drink plenty of water before going out and throughout the day.
- Avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine, or a lot of sugar.
- Eat more frequently but make sure meals are balanced and light.
- Take frequent breaks in shady or cooler areas.
- Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher at least 20 minutes before going outdoors.
- Never leave any person or pet in a parked vehicle.
- Choose the proper type of clothing – cotton allows skin to breathe and absorb perspiration.
- Check frequently on people who are elderly, ill, or may need help.
- Make sure pets have plenty of water.
- If you take medications regularly, ask your doctor for advice about hot-weather activity and your risk of getting a heat-related illness.
- Window covers, awnings, or louvers can reduce the heat by up to 80 percent.
Listen to your body. Overexertion symptoms can be heightened in the heat. If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop and take a break in a cooler environment. If conditions persist, seek medical attention.
- Sore or painful muscles
- Pulse higher than recommended exercise pulse for your size and physical condition
- Feeling very hot and sweating profusely
- Low abdominal pain
Additional information on preventing heat and heat-related illness can be found at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service at: http://www.weather.gov/om/heat/index.shtml and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/