With summer time upon us, it is important to know how to be heat safe in the summer sun. To practice heat safety you should know who is the most susceptible to hot temperatures and how to prevent heat related illnesses. In addition to this staying hydrated and being informed about how to be safe in hot temperatures can make a big difference.
Whose Susceptible to Hot Temperatures?
You should not wait to take action to be sun/heat safe until you see the signs of heatstroke, heat exhaustion or heat cramps. When it comes to the summer sun the best way to be safe is to be preventative. To be preventative, it is important to understand who are the most susceptible to the heat. Infants and children up to 4 years of age are at the greatest risk to heat related illnesses. In addition to infants and children others who are highly susceptible to hot temperatures are:
- Older adults (65 and older).
- Those who work outside or exercise outdoors.
- Homeless or poor.
- People with chronic medical conditions.
- People with disabilities.
Preventative Measures for Hot Summer Temperatures
Knowing who is susceptible to hot summer temperatures is only part of being preventative. Being safe and preventative in the summer heat also means:
- Never leaving infants, children, or pets in a parked car. Even when the windows are open.
- Dress infants and children in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Schedule outdoor activities carefully during morning and evening hours.
- Stay cool with cool showers and baths.
- Seek medical care immediately if you or your child has symptoms of a heat-related illness.
It is also important to make sure you apply sunblock to the skin. A few serious sunburns can increase your chance or your child’s chance of skin cancer later on in life. To be preventative with sunburns:
- Cover up. Clothing that cover your and/or your child’s skin helps to protect against the sun’s harmful UV rays.
- Use sunscreen with at least SPF (sun protection factor) 15. At the very least SPF 15 is better than nothing, but using a sunscreen with an SPF that is higher is best.
When summer temperatures begin to get hot our bodies need more water to stay hydrated. To prevent dehydration make sure to:
- Drink more than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
- Drink from two to four cups of water every hour while working or exercising outside.
- Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar.
- Make sure your family, friends, and neighbors are drinking enough water.
Make sure that you stay informed about how to be summer-heat-safe by staying informed. To do this:
- Check your local news to stay up to date with heat and weather related forecasts.
- Visit websites to find information and tips for preventing heat sickness.
- Keep your friends, family and neighbors aware of heat and weather safety information.