TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Department of Health reminds residents and visitors to be aware of heat related illness as temperatures rise. Protect yourself and your pets. Heat exhaustion can develop after exposure to high temperatures. Dehydration can occur from not drinking enough fluids or replacing fluids that contain salt after sweating. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are older adults, people with high blood pressure, and those who are working or exercising in a hot environment. Animals left outdoors should have ample water and shade.
The Florida Department of Health recommends the following to avoid heat related illness:
• Never leave anyone in a parked car, including pets: Even in cooler weather, the temperature in a parked car can become dangerously high which can be fatal for children or pets. If you see a child or pet left unattended in a parked car, call 9-1-1 and alert authorities.
• Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water when outdoors, especially in the summer heat. Be mindful of the signs of dehydration, which include dry mouth, dizziness, lack of sweating, dry skin, low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, and fatigue. Drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty.
• Dress for summer: Lightweight, light-colored clothing reflects heat and sunlight, and helps your body maintain normal temperatures.
• Stay indoors: Avoid exercise and outdoor activity during the heat of the day. If possible, seek an air-conditioned environment. If you work outdoors, it is critical you remain aware of the heat index and take appropriate precautions to stay healthy and safe.
• Know the signs: Warning signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, weakness, pale and clammy skin, fast or weak pulse, nausea, vomiting and/or fainting. If you experience any of the following, move to a cooler location, lie down and loosen tight clothing, sip water and apply cool, wet cloths to body. If you have vomited and it continues, seek medical attention immediately.
For more information on protecting yourself from heat exhaustion and preventing dehydration, please visit:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/extremeheat/warning.html Federal Emergency Management Agency, http://www.ready.gov/heat
Remember, the best defense against heat-related illness is prevention.