Tips to beat the heat - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Tips to beat the heat

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When the summer heat reaches extreme temperatures, it's important you take proper care of yourself by keeping cool and preventing heat-related illnesses.

When temperatures reach above 90 degrees, everyone is at risk, especially the elderly and the very young.

Below are a few tips from the City of Detroit on how to avoid heat-related illnesses:

  • Stay indoors in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, visit a public place that does. If you must be outside, make sure to stay in the shade.  For a list of nearby cooling centers click here.

  • Drink plenty of water -- even if you don't feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which will only dehydrate your body.

  • Wear light-colored, loose fitting and lightweight clothing to reflect away the heat.  Protect yourself from the sun with wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses.

  • Never leave anyone, especially children, the elderly or pets, in a closed, parked vehicle. Temperatures inside the car can rise 30-40 degrees above the outside temperature.

  • Slow down and avoid strenuous activity. If you must work outside, make sure to take frequent breaks.

  • If you know anyone who is at risk of a heat-related illness, make sure to visit him/her twice daily and watch for symptoms.

  • Talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking to learn if they may interfere with your body's ability to regulate temperature.

  • Do not use salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician. 

Signs of heat-related illnesses include headache, dizziness, nausea, heavy sweating, confusion and pale or flushed skin.

If you believe someone you know is suffering from a heat-related illness, the American Red Cross recommends you to:

  • Move the victim to a cool place.

  • Give the victim cool water to drink.

  • Apply ice packs or cool wet cloths to the skin.

  • If a victim refuses water, vomits or loses consciousness, call 9-1-1.

For more information, contact the Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion Office of Emergency and Public Health Preparedness at (313) 876-4300.

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