Tips for staying safe during a heat wave as the temperature rises

More than 600 people die each year from heat-related complications in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Here's more from Ready.gov on what you need to do to stay safe:

WARNINGS
-Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning.
-Older adults, children, and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.
-Humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a heat index.

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PREPARE
-Find places in your community where you can go to get cool.
-Keep your home cool by doing the following:
-Cover windows with drapes or shades.
-Weather-strip doors and windows.
-Use window reflectors, such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
-Add insulation to keep the heat out.
-Use attic fans to clear hot air.
-Install window air conditioners and insulate around them.

-Learn to recognize the signs of heat-related illness.

SAFETY
-Never leave a child, adult, or animal alone inside a vehicle on a warm day.
-Find places with air conditioning. Libraries, shopping malls, and community centers can provide a cool place to take a break from the heat.
-If you're outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
-Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
-Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. If you or someone you care for is on a special diet, ask a doctor how best to accommodate it.
-Do not use electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees, as this could increase the risk of heat-related illness.
-Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature.
-Avoid high-energy activities.
-Check yourself, family members, and neighbors for signs of heat-related illness.

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ILLNESS

-Know the signs of heat-related illness and the ways to respond to it:

HEAT CRAMPS
-Signs: Muscle pains or spasms in the stomach, arms, or legs
-Actions: Go to a cooler location. Remove excess clothing. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if cramps last more than an hour.
HEAT EXHAUSTION
-Signs: Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, or fainting
-Actions: Go to an air-conditioned place and lie down. Loosen or remove clothing. Take a cool bath. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.
HEAT STROKE
-Signs: Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees) taken orally; red, hot, and dry skin with no sweat; rapid, strong pulse; dizziness; confusion; or unconsciousness
-Actions: Call 911 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives.

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Beat the summer heat with these hot weather hacks from AccuWeather.



  • Check the local forecast in your area. If you know a heatwave is coming, you might want to postpone any outdoor activities.
  • Stay indoors during the hottest time of the day. If you do go outside, drink plenty of water.
  • Do not drink alcoholic or caffeinated beverages, which will dehydrate you.
  • Wear loose-fitting and light-colored clothing. Lighter colors repel sunlight.
  • Make sure you're eating enough, but keep your meals small. You'll have consistent energy to help you throughout the day.

SEE ALSO: What is a heat wave? How heat waves form and temperatures climb
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AccuWeather explains how heat waves form.

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