The Dangers Of Summer Heat

Tuesday, July 10th 2007, 3:17 pm
By: News On 6

With the mercury rising in Oklahoma the danger of heat related illnesses is going up. People suffer heat related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate for the heat and properly cool themselves. The body cools itself by sweating, but sometimes sweating isn’t enough! When the humidity is high sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat fast enough. In these cases a person's body temperature rises rapidly, and very high body temperatures can damage the brain or other vital organs.

It doesn’t take long for high temperatures to cause serious health problems. Staying out too long in the sun, doing too much on a hot day or staying too long in an overheated place can be hazardous to your health. Since heat-related deaths can be prevented, there are several tips to keep in mind when being exposed to extreme heat.

  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activities during the peak sun hours, which are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and limiting alcoholic and sugary beverages. Alcohol and sugar can cause you to lose more body fluid.

  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing

  • Wear sunscreen

  • Stay cool by staying indoors. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library.

  • Monitor those at high risk- especially the young, elderly, physically ill and your pets.

  • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle. Temperatures in a vehicle rise rapidly on sunny days.

  • For more tips on preventing heat related illnesses, click here.