Basic Summer Heat Safety Tips

Spring TimeEveryone should follow these basic heat safety tips in order to avoid the dangers of heat exposure. Keep these suggestions in mind:

  • During the hottest hours of the day, stay inside. If possible stay inside an air-conditioned building. The hottest hours of the day are typically from mid morning to mid afternoon.
  • Dress lightly, and when sleeping, use lightweight, breathable covers.
  • Drink plenty of water and other fluids. When temperatures climb above 90 degrees, it's important to drink at least a gallon of liquid per day, preferably water. Those who are overweight and in humid conditions needing even more.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol and beverages that are carbonated or contain caffeine when temperatures are high, as they can lead to dehydration.
  • Move your exercise routine to early morning or later in the evening.
  • Never ever leave a person or a pet in the car in hot conditions while you run to do a quick errand. People and animals can succumb to heat exposure and death very quickly in a hot car. Cars can become overheated quickly and when overheated become like ovens. It's never safe.
  • Properly supervise children during outdoor play, being sure to monitor them closely and frequently.
  • Seek medical care right away if you become nauseous, start vomiting or experience cramps.
  • Use a fan. Don't place the fan directly in front of a window because it may push hot air in. Try placing the fan so that it blows in the room and out the window instead.

Additional Tips for Elderly Persons

Spring TimeElderly individuals are particularly at risk for heat exposure. A few special considerations for keeping elderly persons safe during the summer include the following:

  • Visit elderly family members or friends twice a day during the hottest months of the summer.
  • If there is a heat hotline in your area, make sure that your elderly loved ones have the number and know when to call.
  • Help your elderly pal to get to know his or her neighbors because isolated older adults are at a much higher risk of heat-related health problems and death.
  • Provide on-going education to elderly individuals. Go over topics such as heat exposure-related symptoms and where to call for help.
  • Investigate public community center solutions that have air conditioning and provide transportation for elderly individuals.
  • Work with utility company to ensure that electricity is not shut off during the hottest summer days.
  • For additional heat safety tips for elderly persons, see the Centers for Disease Control's Media Toolkit: Heat and the Elderly page.

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