Baby, It’s Hot Outside! How to protect yourself from heat stroke
As you age, you become particularly vulnerable to heat stroke and heat exhaustion because of health conditions or medications that dehydrate you or make your body unable to cool itself. Sometimes you simply don’t notice changes in your body temperature like you used to! In fact, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that those 65 and older represent 40 percent of all heat-related deaths.
Protect yourself with these tips:
When temperatures start to climb, make some minor adjustments to your life so you can stay cool and safe
- Stay inside. The hottest part of the day tends to be between 10 am and 6 pm.When it’s scorching outside, plan your outside activities for the early morning or evening. High humidity, on top of the heat, makes it even harder for your body to cool itself.
- Cool off. If your home isn’t air conditioned, go to a mall, library, movie theater or someone’s house that is. Many cities will also open “cooling centers” for this purpose. A cool bath or shower can be another way to keep your body temperature from getting to a dangerous level.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water or juice, but be sure to avoid alcoholic or caffeinated drinks, as they can actually contribute to dehydration. Stay away from extremely cold liquids as they can cause stomach cramps.
- Dress appropriately. Wear light-colored, lightweight and loose-fitting clothes. A wide-brimmed hat also shades you from the sun’s baking rays.
- Slow down. Don’t decide to take a walk or sweep your front steps when the temperatures are soaring. Move inside and limit your activity.
- Use the buddy system. Ask a friend or family member to check on you during the hottest part of the day. Do the same for someone else.
- Remain alert to warning signs. If you experience dizziness, nausea, headache, rapid heartbeat, chest pain, fainting or breathing problems, call for help right away!
Have anything to contribute? Let us know how you protect yourself from the heat in the comments below!