- Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic),
regardless of your activity level. Don't wait until you're
thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the
amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how
much you should drink while the weather is hot.
- Don't drink liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol, or large
amounts of sugar. These actually cause you to lose more body
fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause
- Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an
air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air
conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library. Even a
few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay
cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health
department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your
- Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature
is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness.
Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned
place is a much better way to cool off.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
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- Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related
illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check
- Infants and young children.
- People aged 65 or older.
- People who have a mental illness.
- Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease
or high blood pressure.
- Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch
them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and
young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.
If you must be out in the heat:
- Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
- Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to
four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports
beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor
before drinking a sports beverage. Also remember the warning in
the first "tip" (above).
- Try to rest often in shady areas.
- Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat
(also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on
sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say
"broad spectrum" or "UVA/UVB protection" on their labels).
for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for