Summer Smarts Prevent Heat-related Illness

June 13, 2018
Summer Smarts Prevent Heat-related Illness
Vincent Scoccia, DO

During extreme heat, there are precautions you should take to prevent heat-related illness explains Vincent Scoccia, DO, ER Medical Director at Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center. This is especially important for vulnerable groups like adults over 65, young children and those without access to air conditioning.


These are hot weather tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Keep cool inside

Keep cool inside with air conditioning — don’t depend on fans for cooling in extreme heat. Wear light clothing and take cold showers or baths to bring down body temperature. If you don’t have air conditioning, spend time in public places that are air-conditioned, or contact your local health department to learn about heat-relief shelters.

Limit exposure during peak heat hours

Avoid or limit outdoor activity during peak heat hours. Try to schedule activities in the early morning or evening when the weather isn’t as intense. If you are outside or exercising, rest in shade often, drink water and stop if you feel dizzy or lightheaded.

Wear sunscreen

Sunburn is painful and can put you at risk for other heat-related conditions like dehydration. Apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher before you will be outside exposed to sun. If you can, wear a hat with a wide brim and sunglasses to protect your head, neck and eyes.

Drink fluids for hydration

Drink frequently to stay hydrated and replenish salt and minerals lost through sweat with a sports drink, coconut water or other supplement with electrolytes.

Stay informed about conditions

Stay updated on extreme heat advisories, so you can take necessary precautions. Learn the symptoms of heat-related illnesses like heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, so you can seek help if someone is showing signs.

If you or someone you know is displaying signs of a serious heat-related illness, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Do not leave children or pets in the car during extreme heat, and check on elderly neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure they are staying cool and getting enough fluids!