Heat related illness happens when the body is not able to properly cool itself. This can cause damage to the brain and the rest of the body. Symptoms can include high body temperature, chills, headache, dizziness, heavy sweating, muscle cramps, passing out, and confusion. Older adults, very young, and people with mental illness and chronic disease have the highest risk of developing heat related illness. But there are some things you can do to stay safe.
First, stay cool. The CDC recommends staying in an air-conditioned place as much as possible. If your home does not have air conditioning, consider going to the mall or public library.
Next, limit outdoor activities. Avoid going outside in the early afternoon, when the sun is strongest.
Also, dress for the heat by wearing lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes. And apply sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 and reapply every 2 hours.
And stay hydrated by drinking more fluids regardless of activity level. And avoid caffeine, very sugary beverages, and alcohol.
Finally, make sure everyone is out of the car every time you leave. Never leave anyone in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open, including pets. To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front with the driver.