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Gulf and Franklin Residents Encouraged to Stay Safe in the Heat

By PIO Jessie Pippin

May 21, 2019

Everyone planning to spend time outdoors should practice heat safety. Hot weather places extra stress on the body by elevating core body temperature, especially during exercise. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heatstroke and exercise associated collapse are all outcomes that may occur due to overheating. Elderly people are more likely to suffer from heat stress than others, but heat-related illnesses can affect anyone subjected to high temperatures for an extended period of time.

Know the warning signs of heat-related illness:
• Extremely high body temperature (above 103°F);
• Weakness, dizziness or fainting;
• Unusually elevated heart rate;
• Fast and shallow breathing;
• Nausea or vomiting; and
• Muscle cramps.

Protect yourself with these helpful tips:
• Stay hydrated with water; avoid sugary and alcoholic beverages;
• Wear lightweight, light colored and loose-fitting clothing;
• Stay cool in an air-conditioned area;
• Avoid engaging in strenuous activities during peak hours; and
• Take a cool shower or bath.

To avoid becoming dehydrated, drink plenty of fluids, especially water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Persons who have medical conditions such as kidney and heart disease, who require a fluid restricted diet, or who have problems with fluid retention should consult a physician before increasing their consumption of fluids.

General tips for staying safe in the heat:
• Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun’s energy. It is also a good idea to wear a hat or to use an umbrella.
• Drink water. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body.
• Slow down and avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day – morning hours between 4 and 7 a.m.
• Stay indoors when possible. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.
• Be a good neighbor. Check in on elderly residents in your neighborhood and those who do not have air conditioning.
• Don’t forget your pets. Make sure they have access to water, ventilation and shade.

For more information on extreme heat and heat-related illness prevention visit

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