ResourcesBeat The Heat


Staying safe and cool in extreme summer heat

Posted at 2:13 PM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2020-07-16 14:22:11-04

With extreme heat comes some serious health risks.

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 12: A man cools off in the fountain after skateboarding in Columbus Circle, August 12, 2016 in New York City. Heat index temperatures of over 105 degrees are expected today and through the weekend. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The CDC says more than 600 people die in the United States every year due to extreme heat, even though they say heat-related deaths are preventable.

In order to keep safe, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of when you’re experiencing excessive heat exposure.

According to the American Heart Association, the symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • headaches
  • heavy sweating
  • cold, moist skin, chills
  • dizziness or fainting
  • a weak and rapid pulse
  • muscle cramps
  • fast, shallow breathing
  • nausea, vomiting or both

What can you do to beat the heat and stay safe when temperatures reach dangerous levels?

  • Stay indoors as much as possible
  • Turn on air conditioners
    • If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor of buildings and homes out of the sunshine
  • Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
    • Limit intake of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages
  • Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes
  • Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day and take frequent breaks
  • Take tepid showers or baths often to stay cool
  • Check on neighbors (especially the elderly) and look after children

You can also check the city pools and spray showers websites, as they often have extended hours during extreme weather.