Courtesy of Southeastern Idaho Public Health
With the joys of summer come the perils of extreme heat. Extreme heat can cause a variety of illnesses and can even be fatal. For this reason, Southeastern Idaho Public Health wants to share some tips for staying safe through the hottest months of the year.
- Stayed hydrated. The first and most important thing for staying safe in the heat is hydration. When being active in the heat it’s important to drink two to four glasses (16-32 ounces) of water each hour that you are active in the heat. Avoid drinking sugary and alcoholic beverages because they actually cause you to lose more body fluid; an occasional sports drink like Gatorade can help restore salts and minerals that are lost through sweating. Try to make sure your drinks are cool, not cold, because cold drinks can cause severe stomach cramping in extreme heat.
- Stay out of the sun. Avoid the heat as much as possible, especially for young children and elderly individuals. Seeking shade and staying inside out of heat is vital to beating the heat. When the heat hits the high 90s and beyond, one should seek refuge with air conditioning. If your home does not have air conditioning, you can use electric fans, or plan a trip to the local mall or library where there is air conditioning. While there will always be those times you can’t avoid the heat, precautions like wearing loose clothing, wearing a wide brimmed hat, pacing yourself, resting in the shade and wearing sunscreen can help defend your body in the heat.
- Use common sense. Don’t leave your children or pets in the car on a hot day (even for a few minutes). Don’t wait till you’re thirsty to start hydrating. It’s important to make smart decisions and take preventive measures in extreme heat because the consequences can be severe and unforgiving.