When the heat is on, it can be downright dangerous.
High temperatures and directly sunlight can cause extreme health problems, especially for those who aren’t used to them.
Here is a collection of tips from various health agencies that can help you survive during hot weather:
Cool down: Remember to close curtains and windows in the morning to keep the sun and heat out of your home. Opening windows and doors at night can help cool inside temperatures. Turning off electric lights, or turning them down, will save money, as well as reduce the heat. In extreme heat, if you don’t have air-conditioning, leave your home and go to a cool, safe place, such as a senior center or shopping mall.
Avoid the heat: If any way possible, stay out of direct sun and heat. Try to spend as many hours as you can in a cool location. Minimize your physical activity. Cool baths or showers can bring body temperature down. Use cool towels. Whenever possible, wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water and/or natural juices. Health officials advise that cool drinks help to replenish fluid losses due to increased perspiration in high temperature. You should drink at least six to eight glasses of fluids daily. But avoid alcohol and caffeine, which cause the body to lose more water. Health officials advise keeping a few bottles of water in your freezer or freezer compartment. If you should lose power, move them to the refrigerator and keep the doors shut.
Eat right: When preparing food, fix easy, cool, light meals. Health officials recommend fresh vegetable salads, tuna and meat salads, fresh fruit mixtures, whole-grain products and cheeses, all of which can produce cool, nutritious summer meals. Remember that hot foods, such as soups, casseroles and other products served hot, can make you warmer. You should avoid using your oven during high heat, if any way possible.
Buddy up: Family, friends, or neighbors can be life-savers in high heat. Develop a personal support network, a buddy system of people who will check in with you at least twice a day during extreme heat periods. Work with them on how you can help each other in an emergency.
Be prepared: Most medicine will be OK in a closed refrigerator for at least three hours, so ask your doctor about any prescription medicine you keep refrigerated. Avoid using salt tablets, unless directed to do so by a physician.
Pet help: Dogs, cats and other pets affected by high temperatures need shelter and water. They also should have proper food.
Other items: Keep a battery-operated radio on hand to hear news reports. Have a flashlight handy for lighting and con’t forget extra batteries. Don’t use candles. They are fire hazards. Also remember that cordless phones may not work during power outages. Keep a corded phone nearby or plugged in to another jack.
Watch for signs: Heat stroke and/or heat exhaustion can come on quickly. Call 911 if you or anyone you know needs medical attention.