Stay Cool - Tips to Stay Safe in the Heat!
Beat the heat and stay safe as summer heats up. Prepare yourself for the high temperatures.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sickness from the heat occurs when your body cannot compensate and properly cool you off. However, heat-related illness and death are preventable.
Before the next heat wave, or outdoor activity, follow these protective actions from the CDC and stay cool this summer:
- Stay in an air-conditioned location as much as possible.
- Drink plenty of fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty.
- Take several breaks from the heat, especially midday when the sun is hottest.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing, and sunscreen. Remember that you should reapply sunscreen as indicated on the package.
- Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
- Check on friends or neighbors during extremely hot days and have someone do the same for you.
- Never leave children or pets in cars.
- Check the local news for health and safety updates.
Why seniors are more vulnerable to heat
In hot weather, it’s best for older adults to stay indoors and avoid strenuous activities because:
- Their bodies don’t adjust as well to sudden changes in temperature
- Chronic medical conditions can change their body responses to heat
- Prescription medicines can impair the body’s ability to regulate temperature or could actually prevent sweating
10 ways for seniors to stay cool in hot weather
- Drink plenty of cool water throughout the day (don’t wait until you feel thirsty) and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Eat cooling snacks like popsicles, frozen peas, or slightly frozen grapes.
- Eat light, cold meals like fresh fruit, uncooked vegetables, cold chicken or pasta salad instead of heavy, hot dishes like pot roast. Try not to turn the oven on as this will only add more heat to your home.
- Place a cool washcloth on the back of the neck and a pan of cool water close by to periodically re-cool the towel. You may want to add some ice cubes to pan of cool water.
- Sit with feet in a pan of cool (but not too cold) water.
- Keep the house as cool as possible by keeping shades and drapes closed during the hottest part of the day.
- Wear layers of lightweight clothing in light colored cotton so it’s easy to adjust to the temperature throughout the day by removing or adding layers.
- Visit a public cooling center like a recreation center, senior center, library, or shopping mall.
- Take a cool shower, bath, or washcloth wipe-down. For maximum cooling, keep the water just below body temperature.
- Stay away from direct sun exposure as much as possible. If possible, plan your outdoor activities either early in the morning or when the sun starts to set.