In high temps, safety is a must
Summer won’t officially begin until June 21, but temperatures are already reaching 102 degrees during daytime hours. Louisiana’s heat is notorious, and it’s hard to escape that heat when many jobs and activities require us to be outside.
It’s important for everyone to realize the heat poses dangers to health in more ways than one. With that in mind, it’s important to keep a few rules to avoid illness, even death.
Regardless of activity level, everyone should increase fluid intake during hotter months. Even if your doctor generally limits the amount of liquids you ingest, talk to him about how much you should drink while the heat is on. But avoid liquids with alcohol or large amounts of sugar. These cause us to lose more bodily fluid. Very cold drinks should also be avoided, because they can lead to stomach cramps.
Stay indoors when possible, especially air-conditioned spaces. If you have no air system, spend time in public areas like malls or libraries when able. Even a few hours in the cool air can keep your body cool once you head back into the heat. Even if you have electric fans, this is not enough to prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath is a better way to cool off.
Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, and remember not to leave someone, or your pets, in a closed, parked vehicle.
If you must be out in the heat, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. Rest often in shady areas and protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and appropriate sunblock.
And remember to keep an eye on those who are more at risk for heat-related illness. This group includes infants and young children, people over the age of 65, those with mental illness and those who are ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure.
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