Take care as the weather heats up. Extreme heat can affect your health, and the health of your neighbors and even pets. Madison County Health Department recommends the following steps to prevent a heat-related illness, especially during extreme heat that lasts several day:
- Stay in the shade as much as possible when you are outside.
- Wear lightweight, light colored clothing.
- Take a cool shower, bath, or apply a towel with cool water to your neck to cool down.
- Keep shades and curtains in your home closed while indoors.
- Remind your family to drink water throughout the day and don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink.
- If working or playing outside, drink 2-4 cups of cool, nonalcoholic and caffeine-free liquids an hour to help keep your body temperature normal and avoid dehydration.
- Avoid working or playing outside during the hottest part of the day (11am to 4pm).
- Know the weather forecast in your area, check for heat alerts when planning outdoor play, work, and chores.
- Keep kids out of hot cars.
- Recognize the symptoms of heat-related illness. Dehydration starts with thirst and progresses to cold clammy skin, dizziness, nausea, and muscle cramps. Heat stroke is a life threatening emergency with symptoms of hot, dry skin, confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness. Call 911 immediately if you think someone is having a heat stroke.
Click here for more tips to prevent heat-related illnesses.