How to Stay Safe in Extreme Heat
As heat indexes climb, experts at Northwestern Memorial Hospital caution that overexposure to high temperatures and sun can lead to heat-related illnesses and offer tips for staying safe in extreme heat:
• Stay hydrated: The most important tip is to remember to drink plenty of water. Sports drinks can also restore body fluids, electrolytes, and salt balance.
• Avoid midday rays: Stay indoors if possible during peak temperatures, which is typically between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
• Dress appropriately: Wear loose clothing that allows your body to breath, such as cotton and protect your head and face from the sun by wearing a hat with a brim.
• Limit intense activity: Refrain from intensive outdoor activity in high humidity, which can hinder sweat from evaporating quickly and prevent the body from releasing heat effectively.
While overheating can occur in any healthy individual, the elderly, young children and people with certain medical conditions are at highest risk for heat-related illnesses. For those most susceptible, hot environments should be avoided whenever possible. If you think someone is experiencing heat related illness such as heat stroke, seek medical attention, get them out of the heat and provide them with fluids.