Summer is the time for softball, hiking, swimming, boating, backyard barbecues, and enjoying the great outdoors with friends and family. But with heatwaves and high summer temperatures in North America, it is important to take certain precautions to ensure you remain safe. According to the National Weather Service, heat ranks among the leading causes of weather-related deaths in the U.S., leading to hundreds of fatalities every year.
Tips for Staying Safe in Hot Weather
Using good judgment and taking the right precautions can help protect you and your family, friends, and your pets during the hottest months of the year.
- Check the A/C: Get your air conditioning serviced to make sure it is working properly to help keep your home cool.
- Block the sun: Use drapes, blinds, or other window coverings to the keep sun rays and heat out.
- Use your fans: Ceiling fans that run counterclockwise force the cooled air down to help you stay comfortable.
- Cook with less heat: The use of backyard grills, slow cookers, and tabletop grills won’t heat up the house like the using the range or oven does.
- Drink water and fluids: Adults need 8 glasses (8 oz) of water per day, and possibly more on hot humid days.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated beverages: These drinks can cause dehydration and contribute to heat illness.
- Eat lighter meals: Foods with high protein content can increase metabolic heat and contribute to dehydration.
- Exercise when it’s cooler: Walk, run, play, or work outdoors during the cooler hours of the morning or evening.
- Never leave a person or pet in a parked car: Temperatures inside the car can reach dangerously high levels within minutes on warmer days.
- Protect your pets: Animals can dehydrate quickly, just as people do. Keep them indoors during a heatwave, and always ensure they have shade and plenty of fresh, clean water during the warmer months.
Know the Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness
Severe heat illness can kill, and it is important to know the warning signs and symptoms. Symptoms of heat exhaustion (less serious than heatstroke) include:
- Fast, shallow breathing
- Dry mouth
- Muscle cramps
- Pale, clammy skin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tiredness, disorientation, or passing out
Symptoms of heatstroke require immediate, emergency medical attention. They include:
- Body temperatures 103° or higher
- Strong, rapid pulse
- Hot, dry skin
- Throbbing headache
- Confusion or unconsciousness
See Your Doctor in Case of Summer Heat Illness
Excessive heat can cause serious health issues. It is important to see your doctor if you experience any form of heat illness in the hot summer months. Unfortunately for people on Medicare, it may not cover every health issue that requires medical attention.
Supplemental insurance provides coverage that Medicare does not. Several factors affect the cost of additional coverage, including your age, gender, zip code, and the provider. Our experienced agent at The Harrin Group in San Antonio, Texas can help you find a Medicare Supplement plan to help ensure you get the care you need for heat illness and a range of other health issues.
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