• If possible, stay out of the sun. When in the sun, wear sunscreen (at least SPF 15) and a hat to protect your face and head.
• Use an air conditioner if you have one. Set the thermostat no lower than 78º F.
• If you do not have an air conditioner, keep rooms well-ventilated with open windows and fans. Consider going to a public pool, air-conditioned store, mall, movie theater or cooling center.
• Fans work best at night, when they can bring in cooler air from outside.
• Make an effort to check on your neighbors during a heat wave, especially if they are people with special needs. Many older people live alone and could suffer unnecessarily in the heat because they are isolated.
• Seniors and others who may be sensitive to extreme heat should contact friends, neighbors or relatives at least twice a day during a heat wave.
• Drink fluids – particularly water – even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid beverages containing alcohol, caffeine or high amounts of sugar.
• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible.
• Never leave children, pets or those who require special care in a parked car during periods of intense summer heat.
• Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun’s peak hours – 11 am to 4 pm.
If you must engage in strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, usually in the morning between 4 am and 7 am.
• Cool showers or baths may be helpful, but avoid extreme temperature changes.
Never take a shower immediately after becoming overheated – extreme temperature changes may make you ill, nauseated or dizzy.
*People with heart, kidney or liver disease, or on fluid restricted diets should check with their doctors before increasing fluid intake.