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Beat the Heat|
Each year more than 300 people die from exposure to heat in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Children left in cars, athletes exercising in the heat and the elderly who do not have sufficient cooling systems or limit their use for fear of expensive utility bills, all add to this staggering statistic.
Heat kills because it pushes the body beyond its limits. The body has been overexposed and can’t shed heat or compensate for fluids and salts lost through perspiration causing heat-related illnesses to develop.
It’s important to keep the body cool and to pay attention to the weather reports. The National Weather Service (NWS) will initiate advisories or warnings when the heat index, a measure of how hot it feels when the relative humidity is added to the actual air temperature, is expected to have a significant impact on public safety. The NWS issues excessive heat alerts when the maximum daytime heat index is expected to equal or exceed 105ºF and a nighttime minimum heat index of 80ºF or above for two or more consecutive days.
Anyone can suffer a heat-related illness, but children, people 65 plus and those who are mentally and physically ill are at greater risk, especially if they suffer with hypertension or heart disease.
The CDC recommends the following prevention tips:
If you must be in the heat: