Take precautions against summer heat

Summer has arrived, and despite “these uncertain times” we’re living in, one thing is guaranteed here in north Alabama: Summer will bring the heat.

We’ve experienced a relatively mild springtime, but hotter days are on the way, so the time has come for people – particularly vulnerable populations, such as the elderly – to take necessary safety precautions.

Extremely hot weather can cause serious health issues. We already have the coronavirus to contend with, and one serious health issue is enough. So let’s make sure we’re prepared to face the heat of summer.

Dehydration, heat stroke, sunburn, sun poisoning – all are a risk.

The Centers for Disease Control urges people, especially elder individuals and those with chronic health problems, to prevent heat-related illness or death by following these practices during extreme heat:

         Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible and avoid direct sunlight.

         Do not rely on a fan as a primary cooling device during an extreme heat event.

         Do not use the stove or oven to cook – it will make people and the house hotter.

         Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.

         Take cool showers or baths to cool down.

         Drink plenty of water and don’t wait until thirsty to drink.

         Check the local news for health and safety updates regularly.

Protect elderly people and those with disabilities by making them aware of these tips. Check on neighbors and friends regularly. Seek medical care immediately for symptoms of heat illness like muscle cramps, headaches, nausea or vomiting.

For more information about extreme heat, visit www.cdc.gov/extremeheat/ or call the Aging and Disability Resource Center at 1-800-243-5463.