The National Weather Service forecast projects the next several days to be scorchers, hitting or coming close to 100 degrees or more in various parts of South Carolina.
Be careful and take steps to avoid heat-related health problems.
Prevention: The best defense
- Drink more fluids. Whether you’re active or not, it’s important to stay hydrated. Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar because they cause you to lose more body fluid. Avoid very cold drinks as well; they can cause stomach cramps.
- If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask your physician how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
- If possible, stay indoors in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the mall or public library for a break from the heat. Just a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
- Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature soars into the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Take a cool shower or bath, or go into an air-conditioned place.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
While anyone can suffer from heat-related illness, it’s particularly important to keep a close watch on infants and young children, people aged 65 and older, people with mental illness and those who are physically ill. Visit older adults at least twice a day and watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. And it goes without saying that infants and young children need more frequent monitoring.
For more information on heat-related illnesses, visit www.scdhec.gov/Health/DiseasesandConditions/HeatRelatedIllness.