Stay healthy when it's hot

June 23, 1997

Keep cool. Spend as much time as you can in cooler surroundings, such as a cooler room in your home, an air conditioned shopping mall, senior center, public library or movie.

Watch pets, kids. Never leave pets or young children in a car even with the windows cracked.

Cooling with fans. Fans can draw cool air into your home at night or help to provide good indoor air circulation during the day. Air movement reduces heat stress by helping to remove extra body heat.

Baths and showers. Cool baths or showers (with water temperature around 75 degrees) provide amazing relief from the heat. Cool water removes extra body heat 25 times faster than cool air.

Clothing. Wear as little as possible when you are at home. Lightweight, light colored, loose fitting clothing is more comfortable. Cotton is very comfortable. Wear a hat or use an umbrella to protect your head and neck when outdoors.


Drink often

  • Don't wait until you are thirsty. By the time you feel thirsty you may already be dangerously low on water.
  • Don't try to drink a lot of coffee or tea. They are alright in moderation, but water is your best bet.
  • If you have a disease, a medical condition, or a problem with body water balance, check with your doctor for advice on how much water you should drink in hot weather.

Slow down. Take it easy, especially at the start of hot weather when your body is less prepared for the heat. Physical activity produces body heat.

Watch what you eat. Avoid hot foods and heavy meals. They add heat to your body. Use your range less. Cook during the cooler part of the day.

Watch salt intake. Check with your doctor before you increase the amount of salt or potassium in your diet. Do not take "salt tablets" without your doctor's permission.

Avoid alcohol. It interferes with your body's fight against heat stress. It can put a strain on your heart.

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