Summertime Sun Safety
Post Date:06/17/2014 2:53 PM
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With the official start of summer just around the corner, the Marion Fire Department offers these tips you to keep you and others safe from heat-related illnesses.
- Avoid the Heat. Stay out of the heat as much as possible. Spend time in an air conditioned space. Only two hours a day in an air-conditioned space can significantly reduce the risk of heat-related illness. Shopping malls offer relief if your home is not air-conditioned. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.
- Dress for the heat. Wear loose-fitting clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Lightweight, light-colored clothing that reflects heat and sunlight can help maintain normal body temperature. Protect your face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat. Avoid too much sunshine. Sunburn slows the skin's ability to cool itself. Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.
- Drink for the heat. Drink plenty of water and natural juices, even if you don't feel thirsty. Even under moderately strenuous outdoor activity, the rate your body can absorb fluids is less than the rate it loses water due to perspiration.
- Avoid Alcohol & Caffeine. Avoid alcoholic beverages and beverages with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and cola. Alcohol and caffeine constrict blood vessels near the skin reducing the amount of heat the body can release. While beer and alcoholic beverages appear to satisfy thirst, they actually cause further body dehydration.
- Eat for the Heat. Eat small meals more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein because they increase metabolic heat.
- Living in the Heat. Slow down. Reduce, eliminate, or reschedule strenuous activities such as running, biking and lawn care when it heats up. The best times for such activities are during early morning and late evening hours. Take cool baths or showers and use cool, wet towels.
- Do not leave children in a closed vehicle, even for a few minutes. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach 140°F-190°F degrees within 10-30 minutes on a hot, sunny day.
- When outdoors, protect small children from the sun, their skin is sensitive.
- Help your pets keep their cool. It will feel as hot to them as it does for you. As with children, do not leave your pets in a closed vehicle. Be sure your animals have access to shade and a water bowl full of cold, clean water. Dogs don't tolerate heat well because they don't sweat. Their bodies get hot and stay hot. During summer heat, avoid outdoor games or jogging with your pet. If you would not walk across hot, sunbaked asphalt barefoot, don't make your dog walk on it either.
- Learn the symptoms of heat disorders and know how to give first aid.