There’s a danger of getting heat-related sickness during heat waves and heat waves don’t discriminate: It’s always best to avoid travel, even if you have to wait a few hours to go home.
But some heat-wave-related illnesses have been getting worse in recent years, and it’s important to be prepared.
Here’s what you need to know about heat-induced illness and how to avoid it.1.
Hot, hot, hot Heat can cause dehydration and other health problems.
Heat can also increase your risk of heat stroke and heat exhaustion, and there’s a link between high temperatures and heat-heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
But not all heat-caused illnesses are the same, and you can still get some relief from heat if you:1.
Are underweight or have health problems that could increase your heat-health risk2.
Are taking medication that could cause heat-like symptoms or can lower your body temperature3.
Have chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, or lung disease.
If you’re overweight, your risk for heat- related illnesses may be higher because you tend to consume more calories and heat through your body.4.
Are a fan of the outdoors, especially hiking and camping, and are not exercising regularly.5.
Are traveling with family or friends.
Heat is an especially stressful time for people who work, travel, and spend time outdoors.
It can also be stressful for people with limited mobility or other limitations.6.
Are elderly, pregnant, or nursing.
People who are older and have other health issues, like chronic illnesses or heart disease may need to consider taking steps to reduce their risk of becoming sick or dying.7.
If someone you love is ill.
If the heat is unbearable, you may need medical help.
Call 911 if someone is ill, especially if you or someone in your family has other health conditions that could worsen heat- or heat-associated illnesses.8.
The heat can be especially stressful for women, who may be more susceptible to heat- and heatstroke-related illness than men.9.
Are in an area with high temperatures.
If a heat wave occurs, consider avoiding certain areas, like hotels, restaurants, bars, and malls.10.
Are outdoors on a hot day.
When it’s hot, you’ll want to keep cool.
Wear long sleeves and hats, wear long pants and long skirts, and don’t walk or ride a bike if possible.11.
Avoid getting wet.
It’s easy to get heat-borne illnesses, especially in areas where people live or work.12.
If possible, stay indoors.
If it’s very hot outside, stay at home or out of the house.13.
Avoid staying in hot weather conditions.
Avoid heat-sensitive foods and drinks and limit the amount of alcohol you drink.