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Tips For Managing The Heat

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.

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