Extreme heat can be deadly if you don’t take the correct precautions.
Did you know that extreme heat causes more deaths than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined? According to the CDC, 300 people died from heat exposure in 2001. As temperatures climb this summer, keep your family safe from excessive heat with these top tips.
Be familiar with signs of heat stroke
- Look out for symptoms like high body temperature, dry skin, headache and racing pulse.
- Seek urgent medical attention immediately if you think you or a loved one is suffering from heat stroke.
- Avoid giving a heat stroke victim cold liquid. Instead, cool her with wet cloths and cooler air.
Drink lots of fluids to beat the heat
- You may be surprised to learn that you should drink 2-4 glasses of cool liquid each hour when you’re being active in the heat. Set reminders if you need them.
- Avoid alcohol and very sugary drinks. Water is always the best bet.
- When you’re sweating, you lose salt and minerals. Try a sports drink to replace them.
Be cautious out in the sun
- Protect yourself from sun exposure with hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and sun-protective clothing.
- Schedule activities for early morning and late evening hours when the temperature is cooler.
- Listen to your body. You will fatigue much more quickly in excessive heat. Take multiple breaks.
Watch children carefully
- Children are particularly susceptible to heat exposure. Check them frequently for signs of heatstroke and fatigue.
- Never leave your children alone in the car. Even with a window cracked, temperatures can climb to deadly heights rapidly.
- Remind little ones to drink lots of water during the day. Pack water bottles when you’re heading out to playgrounds or other outdoors areas.
Remember, the best way to beat the heat is with air conditioning. Seek shelter in public areas such as shopping centers or libraries if you don’t have access to air conditioning when the temperatures are high. If you have specific questions about staying cool this summer, talk to your doctor or call St. Lucie Medical Center's Consult-A-Nurse service at 1-800-449-8345.