Safety tip: Protect your health in the heat (July 1, 2021 Hotline)

Safety tip: Protect your health in the heat

As our temperatures continue to climb above 100 degrees, NMSU’s Emergency Planning Committee has some suggestions to help in these extreme heat conditions. High temperatures kill hundreds of people every year and many factors play a role in the impact of extreme heat on each individual. But heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable.

Age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn and prescription drug and alcohol use all can play a role in whether a person can cool off enough in very hot weather.

Experts advise adjusting one’s daily routine to allow for moderate exercise on a daily basis; drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated; eating properly; getting plenty of sleep; and wearing loose-fitting clothing to improve air circulation.

Everyone should take these steps to prevent heat-related illnesses, injuries and death during hot weather:

  • Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as you can
  • Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and sunscreen
  • Pace yourself
  • Take cool showers or baths to cool down
  • Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you
  • Never leave children or pets in cars
  • Check the local news for health and safety updates

When you must be outdoors in hot weather, take these extra steps to stay cool and healthy:

  • Cut down on exercise and other hard tasks
  • Drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids every hour
  • Rest often in shady areas
  • Wear light clothing
  • Wear a wide brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen – SPF 15 or higher

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