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Tips to Prevent Heat Exhaustion

July 12, 2017

With the heat index forecasted to reach above 100 degrees this week in Central Florida, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County wanted to provide the public tips to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

  •  Stay Hydrated – Drink more water than usual. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty!
  • Those at high risk for heat-related illness – the very young and very old and people with chronic medical conditions – should stay in an air-conditioned environment. If you don’t have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library.
  • If you need to work outside, take frequent breaks. Stay cool. Pace yourself while working or exercising in hot weather.
  • Do not leave children or pets in parked cars, even if the windows are cracked open. Cars can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures.
  • Protect you skin. Use sunscreen with a SPF 15 or higher.
  • Cover up with a wide-brimmed hat. Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing.
  • Leave your pets plenty of water in shady areas.
  • Check your local news for extreme heat alerts and safety tips.

“Citizens are encouraged to be good neighbors and check up on elderly or shut-in neighbors, transporting those with signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke to an air-conditioned location. In the event of an emergency, dial 911 immediately,” said Dr. Kevin Sherin, director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.  

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, extreme weakness or fatigue, dizziness/confusion, nausea, clammy/moist skin, pale or flushed complexion, muscle cramps, slightly elevated body temperature and fast/shallow breathing. Symptoms of heat stroke include extremely high body temperature above 106ºF, hot and dry skin, profuse sweating, hallucinations, chills, throbbing headache, confusion/dizziness and/or slurred speech.