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CDC - Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness

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  • CDC - Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness

    Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness

    The best defense is prevention. Here are some prevention tips:

    • Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don?t wait until you?re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
    • Don?t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar?these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
    • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. 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. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
    • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
    • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
    • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
    • Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:
      • Infants and young children
      • People aged 65 or older
      • People who have a mental illness
      • Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure

    • Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

    If you must be out in the heat:

    • Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
    • Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage. Remember the warning in the first ?tip? (above), too.
    • Try to rest often in shady areas.
    • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say ?broad spectrum? or ?UVA/UVB protection? on their labels).

    This information provided by NCEH's Health Studies Branch.

  • #2
    Re: CDC - Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness

    We are in the process of moving into a house with no central air. It is what it is. This is what we are doing to help mitigate the heat.

    When I cook, turn on the oven, I try to cook as much as I can at the same time. Earlier this week at the same time in the oven I cooked: 1 roast chicken, baked potatoes and roasted vegetables. The plan is to get multipul meals out of each spat of cooking so the kitchen is not heated as often.
    I try to include a lot of fruit, salad and other foods served cold into our diet which do not have to be cooked to advoid heating up the kitchen.
    I am planning a summer kitchen. We have a shed and a spare gas stove. With an adapter it could be run on a small propane tank like those used for a grill. This would keep the cooking heat out of the house.
    We use a fan in the upper store to exhaust the rising hot air out of the house.
    I try to accomplish any hard physical work early in the day or latter in the evening when it is cooler and take it easy or go shopping in an air conditioned store during the hot part of the day.
    I have been using a clothes line instead of heating the house with the dryer. It has provided a nice savings on our electric bill.
    Windows are opened during the night to let in cooler air and closed during the heat of the day.
    We have window ac units and ceiling fans to help cool and circulate the air in the house.
    Curtains and shades are closed to help keep out the light and heat.
    If it were to get really hot I would try to spend more time in the basement as it is below grade (underground)and much cooler.
    Keeping properly hydrated in this heat is important, so is keeping fed. I've noticed no one wants to eat during the heat of the day so on really hot days I serve an early breckfast and late dinner, with fruit, cheese, snacks and finger food available in the fridge for lunch if desired.
    I remember the older generation saying that people used to sleep out on screen in (to keep bugs out) porches during the hotter months. We are not there yet but it is a thought. Some older homes had transomes (windows that could be tillted open or closed) the doors to encorage hotter rising air to be circulated out of the home with cross ventalation.
    We were put on this earth to help and take care of one another.