Jul 28, 2014

Stay Safe in the Heat

Are you ready for the hot weather?

Stay Safe in the Heat


With highs expected in the mid- to upper-90s over the next couple of days, it's a perfect time to look at how to stay safe in hot weather.

The National Weather Service has forecast a high of 97 for Monday, with heat index values near 100. Tuesday's high temperature is expected to be near 95.

The Lake County Health Department offers these tips on staying safe in the heat:

  • Drink extra fluids such as water, fruit juices or lemonade, especially during very humid weather.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing (especially made of cotton, if possible) that does not interfere with the evaporation of perspiration.

Eat small meals and eat more often. Decrease food high in protein, which increases metabolic heat.

  • Try to engage in activities that involve strenuous labor in the evening or early morning hours to avoid the hottest part of the day, which is between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. If possible, stay in an air-conditioned environment during this time.
  • In a home that lacks air-conditioning, stay in the basement or lowest floor, close drapes to keep out the sun, or go to a shopping mall, library or other building that is air-conditioned.
  • Never leave an infant, elderly or disabled person or even a pet in a parked car with the windows closed.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion, which can be caused by spending too much time in the heat, include pale and clammy skin, heavy perspiration, dizziness, weakness, headache or cramps, nausea and fainting. Symptoms of heat stroke, which can be caused by over-exposure to direct sunlight, are high body temperature, skin that is red and dry, rapid pulse, and loss of consciousness. Heat stroke can lead to death if untreated. An individual with any of these symptoms should see a physician as soon as possible.

To reduce over exposure to sunlight during prolonged periods outdoors, remember to:

  • Apply at least SPF 15 sunscreen and lip balm, especially on children.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Wear sunglasses with an ANSI rating of 99 percent, and 98 percent UVA protection. These ratings should be found on the label of the sunglasses. Also, wear sunglasses that are either wraparounds or close-fitting to prevent the sun from filtering from the side.

- The Lake County Health Department provided this safety information.

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