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Posted on: June 23, 2014

Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness

Extreme heat can be very dangerous, leading to heat stroke and death. Heat stroke occurs when your temperature rises quickly and your body cannot cool down.  It often occurs as a progression from milder heat-related illnesses such as heat cramps, heat syncope (fainting), and heat exhaustion but it can strike even if you have no previous signs of heat injury. This condition is life-threatening, but it is preventable. 

Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness

  • Stay in air-conditioned space if possible. If your home is not air-conditioned, go to a public library, heat-relief shelter, or other cool location.
  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids, avoiding those with caffeine  (check with your doctor if you are usually supposed to limit your fluids).
  • Wear loose-fitting, light-colored, lightweight clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more.
  • Cut back on exercise.
  • Closely watch those who are at high risk of heat-related illness, including older adults, young children, pets, and individuals with physical and/or mental illnesses.
  • NEVER leave anyone, including a pet, in an enclosed, parked vehicle, even with the windows cracked.

If you believe that you or someone else may be suffering from heat stroke or another heat-related illness, get help right away. It could be a life or death emergency.

For more information, contact the Bethlehem Emergency Management Office (BEMO) at (518) 439-4955, extension 1166.

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