Take care of yourself in the heat

From Henrico Public Health Department

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - With severe heat expected today in the metro Richmond region, the Henrico County Public Health Department advises residents to be aware of the signs of heat-related illness and take steps to protect themselves.

Individuals especially at risk for heat-related illness include small children, seniors and people with chronic medical conditions who are not in an air-conditioned environment; however, anyone can be affected by severe heat.

Early signs of heat-related illness can include cramping, fatigue, dizziness and fainting. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are medical emergencies requiring immediate attention - call 911.

Drink two-to-four glasses of cool fluids each hour; if working outside or exercising, drink fruit juice or sports beverages.

If possible, conduct outdoor activities before noon or at night. Limit physical activity and rest frequently. Avoid sunburn. Wear a hat and light, loose-fitting clothing. Use the buddy system if working outside.

Never leave children or pets in vehicles with closed windows, even momentarily. Temperatures quickly can reach 150 degrees, resulting in heat stroke and death.

Keep cool indoors. Spending at least two hours per day in air conditioning significantly reduces the number of heat-related illnesses; be aware that a fan may not prevent illness when temperatures reach the upper 90s. Seek shelter from the heat by going to air-conditioned facilities such as indoor malls and public libraries.

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