Summer heat safety tips

May 24, 2012

Summer heat can be dangerous - even deadly - if you don't take the proper precautions. According to the Centers for Disease Control, heat exposure results in more than 8,000 deaths in the U.S. on an annual basis. With such a startling statistic, it's easy to see why it's so important to be aware of the risks associated with heat and to know how to stay safe in summer weather.

Basic Summer Heat Safety Tips

  • 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.
  • Keep blinds and curtains closed from morning until the late afternoon to block extra direct heat from sunlight.
  • 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 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.
  • Stay on the lowest level of your home.
  • 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.
  • Use small appliances like slow cookers and tabletop grills rather than your traditional oven or stove to keep kitchen heat to a minimum.
  • Verify that seat belts and car seat restraints are not too hot before buckling yourself or anyone else into a car. 

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