Feeling the Heat? Stay Cool With Red Cross Tips

Heat Safety
Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.

With Memorial Day behind us, summer has unofficially begun—which means sizzling temperatures aren’t too far behind. In fact, the East Coast is set to get its first heat wave this week.

In recent years, excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather events, including floods. A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessive heat, generally 10 degrees or more above average, often combined with excessive humidity.

Depending on where you live, you may not be feeling the heat yet—but it’s smart to have some Red Cross safety tips in mind for the summer ahead.

During a Heat Wave:

  • Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.
  • Know What to Do in a Heat Emergency

    Could you tell if someone were suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke? Would you know how to respond?

    The American Red Cross First Aid App puts that information at your fingertips, helping you prepare and respond to heat emergencies and other events.

    Available for iPhone and Android devices, the free First Aid App gives you instant access to the information you need to know to handle the most common first aid emergencies. It also features videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice.

    Want more in-depth first aid training? Go to redcross.org/take-a-class to find a class near you.

    About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.