With Summer temperatures climbing throughout the area health experts want you to keep several things in mind while you are out in the sun.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says during hot Summer weather you need to be drinking more nonalcoholic fluids, no matter how much you are exercising. They also say don't wait until you're thirsty to drink. You need to be hydrating throughout the day when temperatures are high. They also say you want to avoid alcoholic beverages, or drinks with a lot of sugar. They say these drinks actually cause you to lose more body fluid. They also say you should avoid very cold drinks because they can cause stomach cramps.
The CDC says people suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to cool themselves properly. They say in extreme heat a person's body temperature rises very fast and very high body temperatures can damage the brain or other vital organs.
Health experts say you need to do whatever you can to keep your body cool. So their best advice is to stay indoors in an air-conditioned place. If you don't have air conditioning they suggest you go to the mall or a store or even a library to spend some time in the air conditioning. They say this will help keep your body cooler when you go back out into the heat. They also say electric fans might make you feel better but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Your best bet is to take a cool shower or bath, or move to an air conditioned place. When you are outside experts say make sure you are wearing lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
Experts say anyone can suffer from a heat-related illness, but some of those at the greatest risk are infants and young children, people 65-years-old and older, and people who have health problems like heart disease or high blood pressure.
If you do need to be out in the heat experts say try to limit your outdoor time to morning and evening hours. They also say you need to be careful how much you are exercising. If you must exercise they say drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Try to rest often in shady areas so that your body's thermostat will have a chance to recover. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher. The CDC says the most effective products say "broad spectrum" or "UVA/UVB protection" on their labels.
The CDC says even in cool temperatures, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes. The CDC says anyone left inside is at risk for serious heat-related illnesses or even death. Children who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death. Experts say you should never leave kids or pets in a parked car, even if the windows cracked open.
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