Heat Wave Safety

A heat wave is defined as three or more days of temperatures ninety degrees or higher.

Tips for surviving extremely hot weather.

A heat wave is defined as three or more days of temperatures 90 degrees or higher. Most summers you can count on at least one heat wave. So remember these tips for surviving extreme heat in good health:

  • Slow down. High heat and humidity put a lot of stress on your body as it tries to regulate internal temperature.
  • Exercise early in the morning or in the evening after the sun goes down.
  • Drink plenty of water all day—at least eight glasses a day, or two to four glasses an hour (16-32 ounces, or 1 to 2 quarts) if you are working or exercising in extreme heat.
  • Increase salt intake to replace salt lost in sweat. (If you’re on a low-sodium diet, check with your doctor first.)
  • Dress cool—lightweight, light-colored clothing reflects heat. Wear a hat to keep the sun off your head.
  • Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day. If you can’t, at least get out of the sun occasionally and take a break in a shady, cooler place.
  • Pay attention to your body. Early warning signs of heat stress include headache, heavy perspiring, high pulse rate, and shallow breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms, sit down in a shady, cool location and drink water. If symptoms persist, get medical attention.

Get in the Swim: But make sure you do it safely!

Swimming is a great summertime activity, but it can also be hazardous. Take these precautions to keep yourself and your family safe:

  • Never swim alone in open water, like a river or the ocean, where currents can be dangerous.
  • Don’t try to fight a strong current; swim with it until it takes you to shore.
  • Whenever possible, swim within sight of a lifeguard.
  • Never let children swim alone, even in your own backyard pool.
  • Don’t swim if you’re tired or have had too much to drink.
  • Always know the depth of the water before diving.
  • Keep lifesaving equipment like a pole, a rope, and flotation devices by your pool.
  • Teach your children to swim before you allow them in the water.
  • Make kids wear flotation devices until you’re sure of their swimming ability.
  • Make sure your backyard pool is fenced and the gate is locked when the pool is not in use.
  • Learn CPR if you have a pool. Practice rescues with your family.

Have fun swimming this summer. But always make sure you’re safe, too!

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