As we near the end of July, the heat index continues to climb. With temperatures reaching into the high 90s over the next few days and heat index values between 100 and 105, you can’t escape the heat. However, you can take proper care of your body to ensure that the heat doesn’t defeat you.
More than 700 people die each year in the United States due to heat-related issues. This is preventable. People at greatest risk for heat-related illness should be monitored, and the CDC has tips for you.
Ask yourself: “Am I drinking enough water?” This is very important when spending time in the heat, as drinking water helps to lower your body temperature and replenish your fluids that you lose through sweat. Another important question is “Do I have access to the air conditioning?” According to the CDC, cool air conditioning is the best way to combat the heat.
Make sure to take plenty of breaks when outside. Get in the shade, drink ice-cold water, and let your body rest. Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing is the key for spending extended time outside. Darker clothing absorbs heat, so stick to lighter colors. Ensure that you never leave a child or a pet in a car, as it can become even hotter inside a vehicle.
People at greatest risk for heat related illness are those over 65, children younger than two, and people with chronic diseases or mental illness.
If you do come across a heat-casualty, don’t panic. Follow these steps to take best care of them: Remove the person from the environment by taking them to an air-conditioned or cool place. Elevate their legs at a level higher than their heart. Ensure that they are drinking cool water or sports drinks and have them take a cold shower or bath. If that is not an option, soak towels in ice-cold water and place it on their skin. Also make sure their clothing is not restrictive. If their condition does not improve, consider taking them to the emergency room or calling 911 depending on the severity of the illness.
For easy reading and more tips, visit these websites to ensure you are prepared when it comes to heat-related illness.