With recent and projected hot weather, the Toledo-Lucas County Public Health Department is advising all individuals to take special precautions to prevent heat-related illnesses.
Exposure to excessive heat can cause illness, injury and death. The elderly, the very young and people with chronic health problems are most at risk. The best prevention for heat-related illnesses include:
• Drink more fluids (non-alcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink.
• Avoid liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar. These can actually cause you to lose more body fluid.
• Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place.
• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
• Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
• Regularly check on those who are at greater risk to heat-related injuries, including infants and young children, people 65 and older, people who have a mental illness and those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure.
If you must be out in the heat:
• Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
• Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour.
• Try to rest often in shady areas.
• Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and by applying sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels.