American Red Cross Offers Heat Wave Safety Tips
High temperatures are expected throughout much of the Illinois region this week. The American Red Cross has some safety tips to help keep you and your family safe during the heat wave.
• Stay Connected o Never leave infants, children, older adults, individuals with disabilities or pets in a vehicle unattended. Cars can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures, even with a window cracked open.
o Check-in on older adults and individuals with chronic health conditions at least twice daily. When visiting, ask yourself these questions: ▪ Are they drinking enough water? ▪ Do they have access to air conditioning? ▪ Do they know how to keep cool? ▪ Do they show any signs of heat stress? o Be on the lookout for signs of heat-related illness. Act right away if you notice someone with symptoms. o If someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke seek emergency medical care immediately. • Stay Hydrated o Drink plenty of fluids: Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Avoid sugary, caffeinated or alcoholic drinks. Avoid icy beverages because they can cause stomach cramps. o Replace salt and minerals: Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from your body that need to be replaced. A sports drink or a snack can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. o Keep pets hydrated: Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets and leave the water in a shady area.
o Warning: If your doctor limits the amount of water you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot. If you are on a low-salt diet, have diabetes, high blood pressure, or other chronic conditions, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage. • Stay Cool o Stay cool indoors: Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible. o Wear appropriate clothing: Choose lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing. o Don’t use an electric fan when the indoor air temperature is over 95°F. Using a fan can be more harmful than helpful when indoor air temperatures are hotter than your body temperature. Fan use may cause your body to gain heat instead of losing it. Focus on staying hydrated, taking a cool shower or bath to cool your body, shutting out the sun and heat with curtains, and moving to an airconditioned place to cool off. o Use your stove and oven less. o Schedule outdoor work and other activities carefully: Try to limit your outdoor activity to when it’s coolest, such as morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas so that your body has a chance to recover. o Cut down on exercise during the heat. o When outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen that says “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection. Visit rdcrss.org/3xIMU1g for additional heat wave safety tips.