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THURSDAY July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News)
With much of the United States covered by a heat wave this week, the American Red Cross offers some survival advice.
Each year, extreme heat kills over 600 people in the United States. And many others are at risk heat-related disease, especially adults aged 65 and over and those with chronic conditions, the Red Cross noted in a press release.
Electric fans may provide some cooling, but may not provide sufficient protection when the temperature is in the 90s. You should take a shower or a cool bath or go to an air-conditioned place to cool off.
The organization also suggests:
- Wear loose, light and light-colored clothing. Drink lots of fluids, but avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
- Check your family, friends and neighbors who are not air conditioned, spend most of their time alone or risk being hit by the heat.
- Never leave children or pets in the vehicle, even for a minute. The car’s internal temperature can quickly reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Check local news for extreme heat alerts and to find cooling shelters in your area. Slow down, stay indoors and avoid tiring exercise during the hottest part of the day. Postpone games and outdoor activities. Check the animals frequently and make sure they have plenty of shade and fresh water.
- When working in extreme heat, take frequent breaks, monitor the condition of your colleagues and ask someone to do the same for you.
- Keep an eye on those at greatest risk heat-related disease. In addition to the elderly, these include infants and young children, overweight people and those who “try too hard” at work or exercise. Even at greater risk are people who are physically ill, especially if they have cardiopathy or hypertensionor take some medications for depression, insomnia or poor circulation.
The Red Cross recommends visiting at-risk adults at least twice a day. Babies and young children need much more frequent monitoring.
If you don’t have air conditioning, seek assistance in the public facilities that have it. And if you go to a public facility to stay cool, follow the precautions against the coronavirus pandemic: wear a cloth blanket and keep your social distances.
– Robert Preidt
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SOURCE: American Red Cross, press release, 17 July 2020