|Photo: Patrick Benko/APHA|
The recent U.N. summit in New York City was a reminder that the effects of climate change are already being felt, both in the U.S. and around the world. One of those effects is extreme heat, including more intense hot days and heat waves.
Whether it happens mid-summer or unexpectedly on a fall day, a really hot day can be bad for your health. In our latest podcast, APHA’s Get Ready campaign spoke with Ethel Taylor, an epidemiologist with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Environmental Health, about tips on heat safety and preparedness.
“It’s really important for people to remember three things: to stay cool, to stay hydrated and to stay informed,” Taylor says in the podcast.
The effects of extreme heat vary based on region, so it’s important for people to pay attention to heat advisories for their areas. In addition, people should identify a location they can go to in the case that they don’t have access to air conditioning in their homes such as a library, shopping mall or local community center.
If you have a pet, Taylor says it’s important to keep them cool while keeping them safe and to “make sure that they’re in a shady location and that they have plenty of water available. Never leave your pet unattended in the car even if it’s just for a few minutes.”
Among the tips for coping with high heat:
- Avoid direct sunlight
- Wear light, cool clothing
- Drink water, even if you don’t feel thirsty
- Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages
- Take cool showers often
- Learn about the symptoms of heat illness
For more information on how to prepare for and prevent heat related illness, listen to the podcast and download Get Ready’s heat waves fact sheet.