Extreme heat events pose a serious danger to people throughout the United States. Studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have shown that exposure to extreme heat can increase discomfort and fatigue, cause heat cramps, and increase emergency room visits and hospitalizations.
Everyone should take steps to protect themselves and their families’ health during an extreme heat event, but some people are more vulnerable than others. Young children, people aged 65 and older, persons with certain disabilities, those living in poverty or social isolation, and the homeless have a much higher risk of heat-related health problems than other people living in a population. Follow the tips below from the CDC to beat the heat:
- Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible.
- Find an air-conditioned shelter.
- Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device.
- Avoid direct sunlight.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Take cool showers or baths.
- Check on those most at-risk twice a day.
- Drink more water than usual.
- Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more fluids.
- Drink from two to four cups of water every hour while working or exercising outside.
- Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar.
- Remind others to drink enough water.
- Check local news for extreme heat alerts and safety tips.
- Learn the symptoms of heat illness.