Summer heat can be more than uncomfortable—it can be a threat to your health. Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable. Despite this fact, more than 600 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year, according to the CDC.
There are several heat-related illnesses, including heatstroke (the most severe), heat exhaustion and heat cramps. Those most at risk include:
- Infants and young children
- Elderly people
- Individuals with heart or circulatory problems, or other long-term illnesses
- People who work outdoors
- Athletes and people who like to exercise—especially beginners
To avoid heat illnesses in summer temperatures, remember to drink lots of water—even if you are not thirsty. Additionally, wear light-colored, lightweight clothing made of natural fibers, and put on a well-ventilated hat. Lastly, avoid leaving air-conditioned areas in the middle of the day if you can. Instead, get things done outside in the early morning or evening when temperatures are cooler.
For more tips, click here to view the American Red Cross recommendations for summer safety.