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Heat Illness Prevention

Summer is here and South Central Georgia is expecting some record heat waves.  Here are some tips from the CDC on preventing heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke:

  • Choose lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library—even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
  • Try to limit your outdoor activity to when it’s coolest, like morning and evening hours.
  • Wear sunscreen: sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool down and can make you dehydrated. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.
  • Cut down on exercise during the heat. If you’re not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually.
  • Do not leave children or pets in parked cars.
  • Stay hydrated!  Drink more fluids, regardless of how active you are. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Check local news sources for extreme heat alerts.
  • Monitor those who are high-risk, such as young children and the elderly.

Visit www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html to learn the warning signs of heat-related illness and what to do when symptoms emerge.  Keep it cool and keep it safe this summer!