Prevention of heat stress is very important. You may be exposed to extremely hot environments several months a year and may be at risk. Exposure to extreme heat can result in illnesses and injuries of four types: heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat rashes. Understand what heat stress is, how it affects health and safety, and how it can be prevented. If you must be in a hot environment, here are some tips to protect yourself:
Perform outdoor work and activities during the cooler parts of the day or in cooler months.
Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses.
If you are not used to working in hot environments, gradually build up to heavy work and strenuous activities.
Take more breaks in extreme heat and humidity.
Apply sunscreen to exposed skin of SPF 30 or higher 30 minutes prior to going outside.
Take breaks in the shade or a cool area when possible.
Drink water frequently, especially during heavy work or exercise.
Do not leave children or pets in cars.
Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol, and large amounts of sugar.
Excessive sweating can lead to loss of electrolytes, such as sodium, whose replacement is critical and can be accomplished by drinking sports drinks in addition to water.
Monitor your own physical condition and that of others. Infants, children, and people 65 years or older, overweight and physically ill people may be more at risk.
Know the symptoms of heat disorders, and be ready to give first aid treatment. Call 911 for serious conditions.
Much of the material in this bulletin comes from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention site: