As a dangerous heat wave hits the Midwest and scorching temperatures invade the Northeast, here are tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for how to keep yourself safe.
Take precautions to prevent sunburn, which can make you dehydrated and impact your ability to cool down.
Use sunscreen that’s SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes before going outside. Sunscreens that say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” are best.
Drink extra fluids to stay hydrated — and don’t wait until you are thirsty.
Avoid very sugary drinks and alcohol — they can cause you to lose more fluid.
Also stay away from extra cold drinks because those can cause stomach cramps.
You should also stay away from hot and heavy meals — they can add heat to your body.
Limit time outside
Cut down on exercise during heat waves and rest often and in shady areas.
Try to limit your time outside to when it is cooler, like in the early morning and evening.
Check the car
Never leave children in a parked car — even if windows are cracked open.
Monitor loved ones who are high risk
Anyone can suffer from heat-related illness at any time, but these people are at greater risk:
— Babies and young children
— Overweight people
— Those 65 years old or older
— People who overexert during work or exercise
— Those who suffer from heart disease or high blood pressure and those who take certain medications, including for depression, insomnia or poor circulation
Watch for signs of illness
Symptoms of heat stroke include:
— Body temperature of 103 degrees or higher
— Hot, red, dry or damp skin
— Fast, strong pulse
— Passing out
— No longer sweating
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
— Heavy sweating
— Cold, pale, clammy skin
— Fast, weak pulse
— Nausea or vomiting
— Muscle cramps
— Feeling tired or weak
— Passing out
If someone shows symptoms of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, call 911, move them somewhere cooler and use towels to cool down their body.
— Provide plenty of fresh water so they don’t get dehydrated
— Don’t over-exercise pets
— Never leave your pets alone in a parked car
— Watch for symptoms of overheating, which include excessive panting, difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate and drooling
Animals with flat faces, like pugs, can’t pant as well and are more at risk of heat stroke. These pets, as well as older and overweight pets, should be kept inside as much as possible.