The current heat wave that has blanketed much of the nation for the past several weeks brings with it more than sweltering temperatures. Excessive heat is extremely dangerous, often causing illness and occasional deaths. Understanding the dangers and preventive actions help prevent illness or death.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers some simple, common sense advice for how to stay cool and well in hot weather:
"Here are some facts about which people are at greatest risk for heat-related illness and what protective actions to take to prevent illness or death:
- People who are at highest risk are the elderly, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases
- But even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather.
- Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. If a home is not air-conditioned, people can reduce their risk for heat-related illness by spending time in public facilities that are air-conditioned.
You can take these steps to prevent heat-related illnesses, injuries, and deaths during hot weather:
- Stay cool indoors.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Replace salt and minerals.
- Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen.
- Schedule outdoor activities carefully.
- Pace yourself.
- Use a buddy system.
- Monitor people at high risk.
- Adjust to the environment.
- Do not leave children in cars.
- Use common sense."
For further information about the potential dangers of heat-related illness please click these hot-links:
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