The best defense is prevention. Here are some tips for prevention:
- Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of how much activity do. Do not wait until thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
- Do not drink liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar-these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks because they can cause stomach cramps.
- Stay indoors and, if possible, in an air-conditioning. If your house has no air conditioning, go to a mall or public library, even a few hours in an air conditioned environment can help your body stay cooler when you return to heat. Check with your local health department if there are shelters for refuge from the heat in your area.
- Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is about 100 ° F, fans will not prevent related illness in the heat. Take a shower or a cold bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
- Wear lightweight, loose fitting, light colored clothing.
- NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.