HEALTH TIPS FOR HOT WEATHER

Experts say these are the best ways to endure humidity and avoid the danger of heat exhaustion and heat stroke: observe reasonable precautions, recognize the symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion, and apply appropriate treatment, should the symptoms occur.

OBSERVE THESE PRECAUTIONS

Pace yourself: for work or recreation in the sun, be sure to take frequent breaks to take in fluids and cool off out of the heat.  Take it easy: put off strenuous activities that can wait until weather cools.  Stay cool: use air-conditioning, if it's available; if it's not available, take cool baths, showers, or sponge baths and temporarily inhabit dry basement spaces, which can be 10-15 degrees cooler.

Eat lighter meals: avoid use of your stove by eating more salads, fresh vegetables and fruit

Dress appropriately: wear light-colored, lightweight cotton clothing, which readily releases perspiration and reflects heat. Cotton absorbs perspiration better and thus cools better than synthetics.

Drink fluids: drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic beverages (water is best), especially when you're outdoors, to keep the body's cooling system operating efficiently.  Avoid alcohol, which can induce dehydration.

Stay in the shade: if possible, perform work or strenuous recreational activities outdoors in the morning or early evening, when the sun's heat is less intense; avoid sunburn and ultraviolet light poisoning.

Carry water: when you're away from home, keep water in non-breakable bottles with you to easily replenish fluids lost to perspiration.

Look after the very young and the aged
: babies and older adults are more susceptible to heat induced illnesses.  Check on them regularly; call your local health department for instructions if you are unsure.


RECOGNIZE THE SYMPTOMS

Heat Exhaustion: heavy sweating, paleness, tiredness, headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fainting.

Heat Stroke: Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees), red, hot and dry skin (no sweating), rapid strong pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, unconsciousness.
 

PROVIDE TREATMENT

Heat Stroke: The symptoms above could indicate a life-threatening emergency.  First, call for immediate medical assistance, and then get the victim to a shady area.  Cool the victim rapidly, using whatever methods are available, including applying ice packs on neck, and face, and armpits: immersing in cool water, or using a garden hose.  Monitor the body temperature; continue cooling efforts if emergency medical personnel are delayed, call a hospital emergency room for instructions. Do not give the victim water to drink; do not give the victim any alcohol, get medical assistance as soon as possible.

Heat Exhaustion: Although this is not as serious as heat stroke, seek medical help for severe cases.  Move the victim to a cooler environment and loosen clothing.