Safety in the Heat
We’ve had a hot summer in Nebraska and this week is no exception. Whether you only have to worry about heat in the summer or if you live in a summertime location all year long, it’s important to take the right safety precautions, in particular when it comes to the elderly. Below is a great article on precautions and tips to abide by to beat the heat from a Place for Mom…
Here are some guidelines for keeping safe in hot weather:
- Drink Plenty of Liquids
Dehydration is the root of many heat related health problems. Drink plenty of water or juice, even if you’re not thirsty. But remember to avoid alcoholic or caffeinated drinks, as they can actually contribute to dehydration.
- Wear Appropriate Clothes
An old Swedish saying says, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” When it’s hot out, wear light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothes and a wide-brimmed hat.
- Stay Indoors During Mid-day Hours
During periods of extreme heat, the best time to run errands or be outdoors is before 10am or after 6pm, when the temperature tends to be cooler.
- Take it Easy
Avoid exercise and strenuous activity, particularly outdoors, when it’s very hot out.
- Watch the Heat Index
When there’s a lot of moisture in their air (high humidity), the body’s ability to cool itself through sweating is impaired. The heat index factors humidity and temperature to approximate how the how the weather really feels. The current heat index can be found on all popular weather websites, and is also usually announced on local TV and radio weather reports during periods of warm weather.
- Seek Air-conditioned Environments
Seniors whose houses aren’t air-conditioned should consider finding an air-conditioned place to spend time during extreme heat.The mall, library or movie theater are all popular options. During heat waves, many cities also set up “cooling centers,” air-conditioned public places, for seniors and other vulnerable populations. Seniors without convenient access to any air-conditioned place might consider a cool bath or shower.
- Know the Warning Signs of Heat-related Illness
Dizziness, nausea, headache, rapid heartbeat, chest pain, fainting and breathing problems are all warning signs that help should be sought immediately.
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