Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Heat Safety Tips from the Red Cross

  • Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors reflect away some of the sun’s heat. Also, it is a good idea to wear a hat or to use an umbrella.
  • Use sunblock. Avoid skin damage and protect yourself from harmful UV rays.
  • Drink water. Staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to avoid heat-related illness. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously, even if you do not feel thirsty.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid high-protein foods which increase metabolic heat.
  • Avoid strenuous activity. If you must engage in laborious activity, try to do so in the early morning, when the temperatures are coolest, between 4 and 7 a.m. During prolonged sun exposure, take frequent breaks.
  • Stay indoors when possible. If air-conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.
  • Watch out for family and friends. Keep an eye out for those who spend much of their time alone or who are most likely to be affected by heat. Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
  • Be a good neighbor. During heat waves, check on elderly neighbors in your neighborhood. Additionally, look out for those who do not have air-conditioning.
  • Learn Red Cross CPR and first aid. Though the above tips can help prevent an emergency situation, you should be prepared in the case that one does arise.
  • For more information on these and other safety tips, or to sign up for a CPR or First Aid class, call 888-217-9599 or visit swpa.redcross.org.

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