During the summertime, heat waves and extreme temperatures are a common thing to encounter. Because of this, knowing the proper precautions to take is essential. Preparing your family and yourself can ensure you and your family stay safe throughout the summer. Below are a few heat safety tips to remember for the warmer months. Make sure to share it with your family!
First thing to understand about heat safety are the warning signs. The American Red Cross provides these commonly used terms by forecasters:
Excessive Heat Watch – Conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event to meet or exceed local Excessive Heat Warning criteria in the next 24 to 72 hours.
Excessive Heat Warning – Heat Index values are forecasting to meet or exceed locally defined warning criteria for at least 2 days (daytime highs=105-110° Fahrenheit).
Heat Advisory – Heat Index values are forecasting to meet locally defined advisory criteria for 1 to 2 days (daytime highs=100-105° Fahrenheit).
Heat Safety Tips
– Always hydrate! Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day ensures you stay hydrated. If you work outside you may need to double that depending on how much energy you exert.
– Stay indoors as much as possible during the hottest parts of the day.
– Check on your pets to ensure they are cooled and have plenty of water throughout the day.
– When working outside, be sure to take frequent breaks to not over exert yourself.
– Dress in light breathable clothing. Cotton and linen are lighter fabrics. Try to find light colored fabrics as well.
– If you don’t have an air conditioner, find a place to cool off during the day. Libraries, pools, malls and movie theaters are a great way to break up the heat of the day.
– Fans are a great way to keep the air circulating within your home.
– Close drapes and blinds that face the sun during the day. Excess sunlight will lead to warmer temperatures within your home.
– Eat fruits and vegetables. High sodium foods dehydrate you throughout the day. Large meals require more energy and actually increase your body temperature. Stick with salads and frequent small meals to provide beneficial energy.
– Basements and lower floors are going to be cooler to rest in.
– Stay away from caffeinated and alcoholic drinks. These dehydrate you extensively.
– Stay in cool dry areas. Many people enjoy being outside in the summer, yet during extreme heat you need to give yourself a break and cool down.
– Wear sunscreen! Not only will it prevent a sunburn, it will help you alleviate sun poisoning and sickness.
– Young children and the elderly need to take extra precautions during heat waves. Make sure to check up on the elderly if they live alone and have your children take frequent cooling breaks.
These heat safety tips will make sure you and your family stay safe and cool this warm summer months. Print this tip sheet out to make sure children remember to follow.