If having fun in the sun is on your to-do list for this summer, then you need to add preventing heat-related illness to the list, too. Extreme heat and humidity can cause dehydration, heat stroke, and other heat sickness that can turn your summer fun into a trip to the emergency room if you’re not careful.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends staying cool, staying hydrated and staying informed to beat the heat this summer. Here are some tips to help keep your family safe and healthy in the heat this season.
Keeping your body cool is an important part of preventing heat-related illness. Staying indoors is generally a good idea when temperatures rise, but here are some other ways you can stay cool:
- Wear lightweight, loose clothing.
- Cook less with stoves and ovens.
- Limit outdoor physical activity and exercise.
- Apply sunscreen as often as necessary.
- Avoid eating hot or heavy meals.
- Don’t leave children or pets in hot cars.
Hydration is a key part of keeping your body healthy during summer heat waves, and there are different ways you can do that. Some of the CDC’s recommendations include:
- Drink more fluids.
- Avoid sugary and alcoholic drinks.
- Replenish salt and nutrients lost during exercise.
- Keep pets hydrated, too.
Watching your local weather station for heat advisories is a great way to stay informed throughout the summer. Make sure your loved ones are aware of any extreme heat or other potentially dangerous weather conditions. The CDC also encourages staying informed in these ways:
- Learn to recognize signs of heat-related illness.
- Don’t work outdoors alone in the heat.
- Check in with senior adults who are at-risk for heat-related illness.
- Keep an eye on infants and young children.
Whether your summer plans involve plenty of air conditioning or cooling off in a swimming pool, make sure you stay cool, stay hydrated and stay informed. The CDC has more about dealing with extreme heat at cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has hydration resources and tips at nutrition.gov/topics/basic-nutrition/water-hydration-and-health.