Staying Cool in the Summer Heat

Keeping Cool:
 Get out of the sun;
 Go to a cool, shaded place;
 Drink plenty of liquids, especially water;
 Avoid alcoholic drinks;
 Limit use of the oven if you don’t have air conditioning;
 Dress for the weather. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing;
 Shower, bathe or sponge off with cool water;
 Cover windows with shades, blinds or curtains during the hottest part of the day.

The best way to protect from Hyperthermia is to get air conditioning. If you need help paying your electric bills to run an air conditioner, visit www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/resource/liheap-brochures, www.compass.state.pa.us, go to the Area Agency on Aging at 905 Fourth Avenue, Warren, Pa, to get a brochure and an application or go to the local assistance office in North Warren at 300 Hospital Dr., Suite E. If you can’t get air conditioning, go to a place that has it, like a mall, community center, library, movie theatre or a friends or relative’s home that has it.

If you get too hot, you can get Hyperthermia. This means the body temperature is too high and you are at risk for heat cramps, heat edema, heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Heat cramps are the tightening of the muscles in your stomach, arms and legs. They are very painful. If you get this, drink plenty of liquids and find a way to cool your body down.

Heat edema is the swelling of the ankles and feet. Go to a cool place and elevate your legs. This should help quickly. If it doesn’t, contact your doctor.

Heat exhaustion is when your body can no longer keep cool by the sweating process. You might have these symptoms: feeling dizzy, thirsty, weak, nauseated and uncoordinated; with clammy and cold skin and a rapid pulse. Go to a cool place and drink plenty of liquids. It also helps to put a cold cloth on your wrists and on the back of your neck.

If your heat exhaustion progresses to heat stroke, then your body temperature has reached 104 degrees or higher. This can lead to confusion, fainting, staggering, strange behavior or dry, flushed skin. It can lead to a heart attack or affect the brain and other organs. Do the same thing that you do for heat exhaustion but, also call your doctor or go to the emergency room.

Hyperthermia can be prevented. Keep yourself cool and healthy this summer!

Information from NIH News in Health, July 2013

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