Be Well

Flourish: Stay safe in the summer heat


Did you know that every year, thousands of people develop symptoms of heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke? Source: Mayo Clinic

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Tips for staying well in the summer heat and humidity

Minnesotans treasure their summers. Yet enjoying the outdoors in the heat and humidity can cause issues such as dehydration, heat exhaustion, swelling or heat stroke. Older adults are particularly at risk for these issues because their bodies can’t regulate temperature as well as they used to.

Heat stroke is the most serious of these. Get medical help right away if you have these symptoms: high temperature of 104+ degrees, fast breathing or shortness of breath, high heart rate, feeling confused or nausea.

Tips to prevent heat and humidity-related issues:  

  1. Drink plenty of liquids. Water is best.
  2. Try to keep your home as cool as possible. Use fans and air conditioners and close shades or blinds.
  3. Find a cool place. If your home is too hot, consider spending time at a mall, movie theater, community center, library or at a friend’s house that has air conditioning.
  4. Avoid going outside during the hottest hours (generally between 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.).
  5. Limit outdoor activities and dress for the weather.

As always, talk with your healthcare provider about any concerns you have or if you experience new or different symptoms.

Source: National Council on Aging/Mayo Clinic

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