DES MOINES – It is finally starting to feel like summer here in central Iowa. Weekend heat index’s are looking to be above 100 degrees. Many people will be heading to the pool or local lakes this weekend to stay cool. So it is important to remember these 10 important tips from the American Red Cross before heading out in this dangerous heat.
• Hot cars can be deadly. Do not leave children or pets unattended in vehicles. It can easily reach over 120 degrees inside.
• Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
• If you have friends or family without air conditioning, check on them to make sure they are okay.
• If someone does not have access to air condition, they should consider spending the day in public places like libraries, theaters, malls or anywhere where AC is available.
• Avoid extreme temperature changes. Changing your body temperature from very hot to very cold in a short amount of time can have drastic effects on your body.
• Wear loose fitting, lightweight, light colored clothing. Avoid darker colors as they absorb more of the suns rays and get hot easier.
• Slow down, stay indoors, and avoid strenuous activity outside. Especially around the warmest part of the day, midday.
• If you have any outdoor games or activities scheduled that are not in water, it is best to reschedule them for a cooler day.
• Use a buddy system if working outdoors. Heat exhaustion and even heatstroke can occur if you do not take cover in shade, drink plenty of water and take frequent breaks. Signs of heat exhaustion can be nausea, dizziness, sweating, cool and clammy skin, muscle weakness, confusion and irritability.
• Check on animals to make sure they are not suffering from the heat. It is best to have them indoors as much as possible, but when they are outside it is important to have shade and cool water available for them.
For more information on heat safety tips, check out the Red Cross website.