The National Weather Service says 132 million people are currently under a heat alert.
A heat wave that has sent temperatures soaring towards 100 degrees has gripped more than a dozen states. The toasty temps have shattered more than 1000 heat record across the country.
Here are some tips to beat the heat:
- Drink more fluids than usual – but avoid fluids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar. Check with your doctor if you have been advised to limit your intake of fluids or placed on diuretics (“water pills”).
- Stay indoors – in an air-conditioned location, if possible. If your home is not air-conditioned, spending a few hours a day in an air-conditioned public place like a public library or shopping mall will help your body cope with the heat.
- Don’t rely on electric fans. Electric fans will not prevent heat-related illnesses when the temperature reaches the high 90s and above.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- Never leave people, children – or animals – in a closed, parked vehicle, even with the windows open.
- Check regularly on people who may be at higher risk of heat-related illness – infants and young children, people over 65, people with mental illness, and people with chronic health problems like heart disease or high blood pressure.
- If you must spend time outdoors, try to limit your activity to the cooler hours of the day, in the morning and evening. Try to take rest breaks in shady areas and drink plenty of water.
- Limit physical exercise. Again, when you do exercise, be sure to take in plenty of fluids.
- Taking a cool bath or shower can be an effective way to cool off.
- When you’re outdoors, wear hats and use sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.