We are used to the heat in Florida, but we still need to stay on our toes, looking out for the people we love. Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Closely monitor people who depend on you for their care and ask these questions:
- Are they drinking enough water?
- Do they have access to air conditioning?
- Do they need help keeping cool?
People at greatest risk for heat-related illness can take the following protective actions to prevent illness or death:
- Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as you can. Air-conditioning is the number one way to protect yourself against heat-related illness and death. If your home is not air-conditioned, reduce your risk for heat-related illness by spending time in public facilities that are air-conditioned and using air conditioning in vehicles. Contact your local health department or locate an air-conditioned shelter in your area.
- Do not rely on a fan as your main cooling device during an extreme heat event.
- Drink more water than usual, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
- Check on friends and neighbors and have someone check on you.
- Limit use of the stove and oven—it will make you and your house hotter.
Even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather:
- Limit your outdoor activity, especially midday when the sun is hottest.
- Pace yourself. Start activities slowly and pick up the pace gradually.
- Drink more water than usual, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more. Muscle cramping may be an early sign of heat-related illness.
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.
If you play a sport that practices during hot weather, protect yourself and look out for your teammates:
- Schedule workouts and practices earlier or later in the day when the temperature is cooler.
- Monitor a teammate’s condition and have someone do the same for you.
- Seek medical care right away if you or a teammate has symptoms of heat-related illness.