Large parts of the United States are currently experiencing dangerous levels of heat and humidity. Heat causes more fatalities per year than floods, lightning, tornadoes, and hurricanes combined. Here’s how to stay safe in the heat this summer:
- Go to locations with air conditioning, such as public libraries, shopping malls, and local cooling centers. This is especially important for the elderly, infants, and children.
- Drink plenty of fluids that do not contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar.
- Never leave children or pets in a parked car, in any season. Deadly temperatures can be reached in mere minutes.
- Wear loose clothing and stay in the shade. Use hats and umbrellas.
- Apply SPF 15 or higher sunscreen 30 minutes before going out. Sunburn reduces your skin’s ability to shed heat.
- If you or someone you know is unable to leave a dangerous heat situation, contact your local authorities.
Heat illnesses can lead to death if untreated. The warning signs are dizziness, nausea, throbbing headaches, and rapid pulse. Call 911 if you suspect that you or someone else is a victim of heat illness and cool the person down immediately.