Tips to stay safe during heat waves

(FOX19) - Hot temperatures are predicted this week. The Cincinnati Health Department reminds individuals that hot temperatures are potentially dangerous and put people at risk for heat related illness if the proper precautions are not followed.

It is important to check on elderly and individuals with illnesses that decrease their ability to respond to extreme heat (those with heart and kidney disease, high blood pressure, recent stroke, diarrhea or mental illness). Infants and small children are also at greater risk to experience heat related illness. People who work outdoors, including construction workers and roofers, should be aware of the dangerously high temperatures and should drink plenty of water even when not thirsty.

During heat waves please attempt to exercise the following tips:

1. Decrease physical activity. Exercise only in the early morning or early evening. Stay in the shade.

2. Wear loose and light colored cotton clothing. Wear wide brimmed hats or use umbrellas for shade.

3. Drink plenty of water.

4. Eat light meals.

5. Avoid alcohol. Alcoholic drinks can increase your risk of having heart-related illnesses.

6. Cool down with air conditioning, showers, baths, and recreational swimming.

7. Adjust blinds and awnings to keep out sun.

8. Use the basement during the hottest hours.

9. Be kind to your pets. Provide pets with shade and plenty of cool water.

10. Use circulating fans to lower temperatures in living spaces. However, when temperatures exceed 95°F, a fan may not help unless it brings cool air into the apartment. Fans may even increase heat stress in very hot weather and should be used to blow hot air directly onto the body.

11. Be a good neighbor and friend and check on those who may need assistance.

12. Children and pets should not be left unattended in closed vehicles. Temperatures can reach dangerous levels rapidly

13. Individuals with chronic health problems should minimize activities to avoid extra stress on those systems.

14. Extra caution should be taken for the elderly, infants, and young children. To assure they are protected from heat.

15. Do not increase salt or potassium intake or take salt tablets without a physician's authorization.

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