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Precautions to Protect Yourself in Extreme Heat

As we move into what are typically the hottest months of the year in Iowa, please remember to take measures to prevent heat stress.
Anyone can suffer from heat stress, including young and healthy individuals if they are very active during hot weather or the heat index is very high; however, the following people are at greatest risk:
• Individuals age 65 or older
• Infants and young children
• Overweight individuals
• People who are performing manual labor or exercising outdoors
• People who are physically ill, especially those with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as those for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation

Remember to keep cool and use common sense when temperatures and humidity are high by:
• Keeping in the shade or air conditioned areas as much as possible
• Increasing fluid intake, regardless of their activity level
• If experiencing a lot of sweating, replacing salt and minerals by eating foods like bananas and salty crackers, or drink rehydrating beverages that contain salts such as sports drinks, and special rehydration fluids
• Choosing lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and wear sunscreen
• Wearing hats that shade their face such as sun hats, visors, etc.
• Working slowly if you are not used to working or exercising in heat and humidity. Stop immediately if you get dizzy, nauseated, or feel weak. Go into an air conditioned space and drink cool liquids
• Using a buddy system. Watch others for heat-induced illness, since some people may not realize that they are suffering heat-related illnesses and can become confused or lose consciousness.

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