Kansas City, MO – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the following tips for managing the heat and avoiding heat related illnesses.
- Drink more fluids (non-alcoholic), regardless of your activity level.
- Don't drink liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar-these actually cause you to lose more body fluid.
- Also avoid very cold drinks because these can cause stomach cramps.
- Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place.
- If your home does not have air-conditioning, go to the shopping mall, public library-even a few hours spent in air-conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. For a list of cooling centers click here or call 211.
- Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
If you must be out in the heat:
- Try to be outdoors before noon or in the evening.
Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink 2-4 glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
- Try to rest often in shady areas.
Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat) and sunglasses, and putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say "broad spectrum" or "UVA/UVB protection" on their labels).
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- Never leave anyone or a pet in a closed, parked vehicle.
- Check regularly on those at greatest risk of heat-related illness:
- Infants and children up to 4 years of age.
- People aged 65 or older.
- People who have a mental illness or are mentally disable .
- Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure.
- Visit adults at risk at least two times a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.