Stay safe during summer heat

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during 1999-2009, an average of 658 people died each year from heat-related illness in the United States. Older adults, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency; persons should call 911 right away if someone appears to be having a heat stroke.

Staying cool in a building with air conditioning for even a few hours a day could reduce the risk for heat-related illness. Heat-related death or illnesses are preventable if you follow a few simple steps.

–Stay in an air-conditioned area during the hottest hours of the day. If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, go to a public place such as a shopping mall or a library to stay cool. Cooling stations and senior centers are also available in many large cities for people of all ages.

–Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.

–Drink water often. Don’t wait until you are thirsty.

–Avoid unnecessary hard work or activities if you are outside or in a building without air-conditioning.

–Avoid unnecessary sun exposure. When in the sun, wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim.