Although the summer heat makes for fun outdoor activities, prolonged exposure to excessive heat can be dangerous, especially for older adults. According to the National Institute of Aging, older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions are at high risk of developing heat-related illnesses. Use these tips to help keep your loved ones safe:
- Avoid the midday heat. Temperatures hit their peak in the midday, so it’s best to get exercise or outdoor work done earlier in the day or after dinner when the sun begins to set.
- Limit direct exposure to the sun. Use sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to prevent the dangerous health effects of sun exposure.
- Keep cool. Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. If your home does not have air conditioning, contact your local health department to locate an air-conditioned community center or heat shelter in your area.
- Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing. This will promote the absorption of sweat.
- Avoid using your stove or oven to prepare meals, if possible. Cooking on the range adds more heat to your kitchen.
- Stay hydrated. Drink water, even when you do not feel thirsty.
As always, seek medical care immediately if you have any symptoms of heat related illnesses like muscle cramps, dizziness, headaches, nausea, weakness, or vomiting.