The two important tips for protecting your health during extreme heat are to keep cool and use common sense. For example:
- Stay in cool (or air-conditioned if possible) places
- Keep hydrated – increase your fluid intake regardless of activity and don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink. A general rule of thumb is to drink enough non-alcoholic fluids each hour to maintain normal color and output of urine. NOTE: Some people may be fluid restricted because of underlying health disorders. If this is the case, consult with your doctor on the best ways to stay hydrated.
- Wear appropriate clothing. Wear as little clothing as possible and choose lightweight, light colored and loose-fitting garments. A wide-brimmed hat can help protect you from the sun and keep your head cool. Make sure you apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to going outside and reapply according to package directions. Also, be sure to use sunscreen—although using sunscreen will not protect a person from heat-related illness, it is important to help protect from sunburn.
- Replace salts and minerals – heavy sweating depletes your body of salt and minerals, however, do not take salt tablets unless directed by your doctor. Drink fruit juice or a sports beverage when you exercise or work in the heat to replace salts and minerals.
- Monitor those at risk – use a buddy system and know which groups are more at-risk for heat-related illnesses.
- Adjust to your environment – pace yourself if you are working out or working in a hot environment. Increase outdoor activity gradually and limit activity to the cooler times of the day.