How to keep your cool in hot weather
(WRCB) -- With temperatures forecast to soar into triple digits over the next several days, those venturing outside should be an the alert for signs of heat exhaustion.
Here's some information you need to know from The Center for Disease Control.
First and foremost, getting too hot can literally make you sick. You can become ill from the heat if your body can't compensate for it and properly cool you off. Heat exposure can even kill you: it caused 8,015 deaths in the United States from 1979 to 2003.
And it's not just the heat, it's the humidity. When the humidity is high, sweat won't evaporate as quickly, which keeps your body from releasing heat as fast as it may need to.
Personal factors also come into play, such as age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use. All the factors can play a role in whether a person can cool off enough in very hot weather.
People who are at highest risk are the elderly, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases. But even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather.
So what is the best way to beat the heat? Air conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death.
However, not everyone has access to air conditioning. If a home is not air-conditioned, people can reduce their risk for heat-related illness by spending time in public facilities that are air-conditioned. If you need to do some shopping, spending the hottest part of the day inside an aid conditioned store or retail center is always a good plan.
The best tips to staying cool and avoiding heat stroke or exhaustion are easy to remember:
Stay cool indoors.
Drink plenty of fluids.
Replace salt and minerals.
Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen.
Schedule outdoor activities carefully.
Use a buddy system.
Monitor people at high risk.
Adjust to the environment.
Do not leave children in cars.
Use common sense.
Fore more information from the Centers for Disease Control:
Beat the Heat (When Working Outdoors) [PODCAST - 5:30 minutes]
Frequently Asked Questions about Extreme Heat
Heat Stress in the Elderly