There are more than 300 heat-related deaths in the United States each year. This loss of life can be prevented by following these heat-smart rules provided by the American Red Cross.
Do not stay in or leave anyone in closed, parked cars during hot weather, especially children or pets.
- Do not exercise vigorously during the hottest times of the day. Instead, run, jog, or exercise in the cooler part of the day. If the outside temperature is 82ºF or above and the humidity is high, you should consider doing an abbreviated exercise routine.
- Wear light, loose-fitting clothing made from materials, such as cotton, so sweat can evaporate. Don’t forget to put on a wide-brimmed hat with vents for protection from the sun.
- Drink lots of liquids to replace the fluids you lose from sweating. Do not wait until you feel like you need a drink. Thirst is not a reliable sign that your body needs fluids. When you exercise, you should take small sips of liquid rather than large drinks. Water is the best drink to replace lost fluids. Water with salt added can be used if you sweat a lot. (Use ½ teaspoon salt in 1 quart of water.).
- If you feel very hot, try to cool off. Open a window, use a fan, or turn on an air conditioner.
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages or beverages with caffeine because they speed up fluid loss.
- Do not bundle a baby in blankets or heavy clothing. Infants don’t tolerate heat well because their sweat glands are not well developed.
- Some people perspire more than others do. Those who do should drink as much fluid as they can during hot, humid days.
- Finally, to protect yourself when temperatures are extremely high, it is important to remember to use common sense.