Hot Weather Safety

When the weather heats up, it is important to know how to stay safe. Finding ways to stay cool in hot temperatures is key.

The following tips will help you and your family stay safe, courtesy of the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department:

Keep cool:
It is important to keep cool as temperatures rise.

    • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun.
    • Dress in lightweight clothing.
    • Take cool showers or baths.
    • Don’t rely solely on fans to keep you cool. Electric fans can provide some comfort, but when temperatures are hot, they don’t prevent heat-related illness.
    • Use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home.
    • Spend time at a public location—even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help.
    • Stay inside during the hottest times of the day (afternoon and early evening).
    • Check on your elderly neighbors and relatives, and encourage them to keep cool and hydrated.

Drink liquids:
Staying hydrated is extremely important during the hot weather, even if you are not outside.

    • Drink plenty of water.
    • Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol and lots of sugar—they actually dehydrate you.
    • Keep water with you whenever possible, and sip or drink frequently.
    • Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
    • Make sure pets have plenty of water.

If you go outside:
If you do have to go outside, be sure to do it safely. Heat-related illnesses can come on quickly.

    • Limit the time you’re in direct sunlight.
    • Do not leave infants, children, people with mobility challenges and pets in a parked car.
    • Limit activities that are tiring, or that take a lot of energy.
    • Do outdoor activities in the cooler morning and evening hours.
    • Avoid sunburn. Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.
    • At first signs of heat illness (dizziness, nausea, headaches, muscle cramps), move to a cooler location, rest for a few minutes and slowly drink a cool beverage. Seek medical attention immediately if you do not feel better.
    • Avoid extreme temperature changes. A cool shower immediately after coming in from hot temperatures can result in hypothermia, particularly for elderly or very young people.

If the power goes out or air conditioning is not available:
Air conditioning is great in the heat, but if for any reason it is not available, be sure to consider the following:

    • If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.
    • Ask your doctor about any prescription medicine you keep refrigerated. (If the power goes out, most medicine will be fine to leave in a closed refrigerator for at least 3 hours.)
    • Keep a few bottles of water in your freezer; if the power goes out, move them to your refrigerator and keep the doors shut.


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