Extreme heat is gripping much of the nation this week, and millions of Americans are still without power or air conditioning with little relief in sight.
According to the National Weather Service, heat is the number one weather-related killer in America, resulting in more deaths annually than hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and lightning combined.
By following a few of our helpful tips during heat waves, you and your family can stay safe in extreme heat. The following are some of SafeMart’s tips for you, based on information from National Weather Service and Centers for Disease Control, on how to keep from dangerous overheating:
- 1. Drink plenty of water and other non-alcoholic, non-carbonated fluids. Avoid sugary drinks and caffeine as well, and opt for fluids that replace electrolytes.
- 2. Get to air conditioned areas if possible. Air conditioning provides heat relief for the whole body and can lower your body temperature.
- 3. If air conditioning in not an option, take cool showers or baths. Though these may be less comfortable, they are also effective at lowering your body temperature and protecting you from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
- 4. Stay out of the sun. The sun heats your body, and sunburn will make it harder for your body to cool off even after you are out of the sun.
- 5. Avoid meat and proteins. These types of foods increase metabolic heat production and drain your body of water.
- 6. Wear light clothing. Dressing for the weather is an easy way to sweat less and keep cool. Choose light-colored fabrics that breathe and try not to layer clothes.
- 7. Reduce outdoor activities. During the hottest daylight hours, try to stay inside and do not exert yourself. If you have to work outside, do so in the early morning and late evening hours, when the temperature is lower and the sunlight is weaker.
- 8. Keep children out of cars when unsupervised. During heat waves, or any summer months, cars can heat extremely quickly in the sun. Children should never be left unattended in cars, even with the windows cracked. Take special care to lock the car once everyone is out, so that unattended children do not sneak back in.
- 9. Cut down on salt. Salty foods use up more of your body’s water quickly, meaning you need to drink even more fluids.
- 10. Look after the elderly, sick and children. Anyone can suffer from heat-related symptoms, but these groups are in the greatest danger. Check up on elderly family and neighbors, and make sure to watch your children or any sick family or friends for symptoms of heat exhaustion.