Preparation for high temperatures can mean lives saved from heatstroke

Summer may bring fun in the form of beach trips and backyard barbecues, but its rising temperatures can also carry sobering consequences.
San Jose State University reported last week that nine U.S. children have already lost their lives this year due to heatstroke in cars. A new study from the National Weather Center found that high temperatures historically cause more fatalities than any other weather-related phenomenon—including tornadoes and floods.

While seniors and children under age five are at the highest risk for heatstroke, people of all ages should prepare for summer temperatures.
Below are age-appropriate recommendations for safety in hot weather, courtesy of Ascension Saint Thomas.

  • Babies – There are many options online for alarms that provide reminders to remove your baby from the car seat before departing your parked car. There are also Smartphone applications that offer these reminders.
  • Kids – School is out and the swing set is calling, but your child’s outdoor play should be scheduled around the sun. Encourage playtime in the early morning and evening, rather than in the hottest hours of midday.
  • Teens – Sports practices, sleep away camps, and summer jobs may require your teen to spend time outside in midday heat. Remind your teen to listen to their body and to respectfully speak up to an authority figure if they need to step inside and take a break. Encourage your teen to hydrate before outdoor activities and to carry a water bottle along for continued hydration.
  • Young adults and middle-aged adults – While most healthy adults are not as high-risk as young children and seniors, heatstroke can still occur. Be sure to drink water throughout the day and to seek shade if you must be outdoors for an extended period of time. Schedule outdoor workouts for early mornings and evenings, rather than midday. Taking cold showers is an easy way to lower your body temperature.
  • Seniors – The CDC reminds seniors and others who take prescription medicine that some drugs have the unintended side effect of limiting the body’s ability to control temperature. Be sure to read the fine-print labels on any medicines you take. If you are a senior who does not have access to air conditioning at home or work, drop by the grocery store, the mall, or another air-conditioned environment to give yourself a reprieve from heat on excessively warm days.