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Beat the Heat – Tips for Hot Weather Safety

June 9, 2018 by Cheryl Proska in For Individuals, For Professionals, Health and Wellness

Spring is in the air…but not for much longer. Summer Solstice is right around the corner and many people are looking forward to the extra hours of daylight it brings along with it. Unfortunately, longer days also means higher temperatures – and a much higher chance for dehydration, heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

Heat-related illnesses are responsible for roughly 618 deaths every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The good news is they are preventable and treatable.

Here are a few tips to help keep you and your loved ones stay safe in these sweltering summer months.

Stay Hydrated.

The human body is 70% water. It requires a great deal of H2O to keep itself running properly. During the summer, rising temperatures cause you to lose significant amounts of those necessary fluids. That’s why it’s vital to drink plenty of water. Be sure to drink the proper amount of fluids every day to avoid dehydration. Click here to calculate how many glasses you should be getting in!

Pro tip: Is boredom getting in the way of meeting your daily water quota? Spice it up with some flavor!  Cut up some fresh fruits or herbs, such as cucumbers, lemons, mint leaves and berries, and throw them in to infuse the taste. Seltzer is also a terrific way to keep water interesting without compromising health.

Dress lightly.

Dark colors on clothes naturally attract heat, increasing your overall body temperature. Tight, clingy fabrics make it hard for your body to cool itself down. Put both of those factors together and you have a recipe for heat-related illness waiting to happen. So, from color to fabric material, try to keep your wardrobe as light (and flowy) as possible.

Eat the right foods.

If water really isn’t your thing, there are plenty of foods that can help keep you hydrated during hot months. Fruits and vegetables, for example, are very high in water content. Including an extra serving or two in your diet during summertime can help to replenish your body’s supply. Foods that are high in potassium can also combat heat-related illness by raising electrolyte levels – these can include bananas, pineapples, sweet potatoes, coconut water and mangoes.

Schedule outdoor time carefully.

The easiest way to avoid heat-related illness? Stay out of the extreme heat when possible. There are certain hours of the day where the sun’s rays are actually stronger, making it easier for your body to overheat. Try to schedule your summer activities so you and your loved ones are safely inside during those peak heat hours in the afternoon.

For more tips on how to #BeatTheHeat this summer, visit Ready.Gov/Heat.

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