• Regardless of your activity level drink plenty of water and natural fruit juices, even if you're not thirsty. Avoid alcoholic beverages and drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and colas.
• Elderly people (65 years and older), infants, children and people with chronic medical conditions are more prone to heat stress.
• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. If you must go out, use sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat. Remember that sunburn reduces the skin's ability to provide cooling.
• Avoid going out during the hottest times of the day. Take frequent breaks if working during the heat of the day.
• Using a buddy system between co-workers in high heat-stress jobs can help ensure that signs of heat stress do not go unnoticed.
• Inside during the day, keep shades drawn and blinds closed. Use air conditioning whenever available. Even just two hours per day in air conditioning can significantly reduce the risk of heat-related illness.
• Fans should only be used in a ventilated room. Blow hot air out a window with a fan during the day, and blow in cooler air at night.
• Take cool (not icy cold) baths or showers. Eat frequent, small meals. Avoid high protein foods, which increase metabolic heat. Fruits, vegetables, and salads constitute low protein meals.
• Do not leave children or pets in a closed vehicle with the windows up. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach over 140 degrees within minutes.
• Provide extra water and access to a cool environment for pets.
• Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. During conditions of extreme heat, spend time in locations with air-conditioning such as shopping malls, public libraries, or public health sponsored heat-relief shelters in your area.
Monitor Those at High Risk
Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others.
• Infants and young children are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids.
• People 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature.
• People who are overweight may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat.
• People who overexert during work or exercise may become dehydrated and susceptible to heat sickness.
• People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.
• Watch 10/11 or visit 1011weather.com to keep up with the latest heat watches, warnings, and advisories.
This and more information can be found at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Web site at www.noaa.gov and at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Web site at http://www.bt.cdc.gov