Tips to Beat the Heat this Summer

DeMarrais picJeanne-Aimee De Marrais, Domestic Emergencies Advisor

Washington, D.C.

July 6, 2012

Temperatures have risen to triple-digit highs throughout the East Coast. As you and your family think of ways to stay cool,please keep in mind that infants and young children are among the most vulnerable in extreme heat. Follow these helpful hints and suggestions from the Center for Disease Control's Extreme Heat Guide to keep you and your child happy and healthy this summer:

  • Do NOT leave children unsupervised in parked cars, even if the windows are cracked open. Even in less threatening temperatures, vehicles can rapidly heat up to dangerous temperatures. A child left inside a car is at risk for severe heat-related illnesses and/or death.
  • Air-conditioning is the best form of protection against heat-related illness and death, so be sure to spend as much time in air-conditioned spaces (i.e. shopping malls, public libraries, public health sponsored heat-relief shelters) as possible during extreme heat waves.
  • Get Informed! Listen to local news and weather channels for health, safety, and weather-related updates.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen. Choose lightweight, light-colored, and breathable fabrics, as well as broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect you and your child from the heat and potential sun-related skin damage. Hats and umbrellas can be used to limit exposure to harmful sun rays.
  • Remember to drink plenty of fluids, regardless of your activity level. Also avoid hot meals as they too can affect body heat.
  • Know how to identify heat-related illnesses/conditions such as heat stroke, exhaustion, cramps, and severe sunburn. Please refer to the CDC website for a complete list of health conditions caused by extreme heat exposure, and how to remedy them.

Here are some links to additional information which will help keep you and you child safe this summer:

The Center for Disease Control's Extreme Heat Guide

More information on child vehicular hyperthermia