Richmond residents are urged to take precautions to prevent heat injury and illness during hot summer weather
We are fast approaching the long hot days of summer. The recent spell of hot and humid weather is an example of extreme heat that’ll be with us throughout the summer months. The Richmond City Health District is encouraging residents to prepare themselves and take steps to prevent heat-related illness and injury. While the elderly, people with health problems, and very young children are most vulnerable, heat can affect anyone. Our bodies are cooled primarily by losing heat through skin perspiration. Problems occur when we are unable to shed excess heat.
Here are some tips to help keep you cool and to avoid heat injury:
Stay in the coolest environment available. If you’re outdoors, try to stay in the shade. When indoors, use an air conditioner. If you don’t have air-conditioning, spend time in air-conditioned public places such as shopping malls and libraries; even a few hours spent in air-conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
- Drink plenty of fluids (non-alcoholic); don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Check with your doctor if you are on restricted fluid intake.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Wear a hat to protect your head from the sun, and use sunscreen outdoors.
- Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours when it’s cooler. Cut down on exercise and strenuous activity.
- Never leave people or pets in a closed, parked vehicle
- People at greatest risk from high temperatures are infants and young children, people age 65 and older, people who are physically ill, especially with heart disease, high blood pressure, and chronic respiratory problems.
- Check regularly on elderly, chronically ill, or incapacitated persons.
Respond quickly to hot weather health emergencies: Even short periods of high temperatures can cause serious health problems. Know the symptoms of heat disorders such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Be ready to give first aid treatment, or call for medical assistance.
For more information, visit the following websites: