There is an increased risk for heat illness when people are out in hot weather or while exercising. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
Wear Light, Loose Clothing
It is important to make good clothing choices when out in hot weather to prevent heat illness. Wearing clothing that is lightweight and loose helps to draw sweat away from the skin. Wearing a wide-brimmed can offer sun protection for your head and face.
Sunburn is sometimes associated with heat exhaustion and heatstroke. This is because sunburns affect the body’s ability to cool itself and can lead to the loss of fluids.
Ways to protect yourself from sunburn include using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and staying indoors in the middle of the day when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
While outdoors in the heat, make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink. Avoid beverages that could cause you to become dehydrated, including sugary, alcoholic, and caffeinated beverages.
Use Caution With Some Medications
If you are taking medications that might increase your risk for dehydration, it is even more important to take precautions to avoid heat illness. This can include wearing sunscreen, staying indoors on hot days, and drinking plenty of fluids.
Never Leave Anyone in a Parked Vehicle
You should never leave a child or a pet in a parked car. Before leaving your car, be sure to check that everyone is out.
Cars can quickly heat up in very hot temperatures even with windows cracked open. Anyone who is left in a hot car—especially children—is at risk for heatstroke.
Rest During Hot Times
It is a good idea to limit outdoor activities for times of the day when it is cooler, like early morning and in the evening. If you are out during hot times of the day, try to rest often in shady areas or indoors so that your body can recover from the effects of the heat.
Be Careful If You’re at Risk
If you are someone who takes medications or has a medical condition that increases your risk for heat illness, it is important to limit your time outdoors when the heat index is higher.
If you are outdoors and notice signs of overheating, take action right away to keep things from getting worse. This includes going indoors, drinking fluids, and finding ways to cool your body.
Get Acclimated to Weather
If you are not used to higher temperatures, limit your time outdoors until you acclimate to the higher temperatures. If you are not used to the heat, you are more likely to experience a heat illness. It might take some time to get used to the hotter temperatures, so be sure to pace yourself.