Independence Day often pushes us outdoors to enjoy some of our favorite summer activities, but make sure before you fire up the grill or jump in the water that you’ve planned to stay safe!
While this heat might be typical for an Alabama summer, it can still be dangerous. Averaged over the past 30 years, heat is the number one culprit among weather related fatalities. Here are some easy ways you can enjoy the holiday (and weekend) while staying safe:
Before Going Outdoors:
- Dress in light-colored and loose-fitting clothes. This will make it easier for your body to cool down if you start to feel overheated.
- Pack extra water, portable fans, and sunscreen.
- Put on sunscreen 20-30 minutes before sun exposure, and consider setting timers for the day ahead on a device like your smartphone to act as reminders to reapply sunscreen.
On the Road:
- Never leave someone in a car that isn’t running – regardless of the time of day.
- The outside temperature can be as low as 70°F, and a car can still heat up to 100°F within 30 minutes if it’s in the sun:
- Hydrate early and often. Start your day drinking water, and then you can start adding in other beverages, like iced tea, in moderation.
- Take breaks from the heat regularly, and spend the majority of your time in the shade if possible.
- Recognize the signs of heat exhaustion in yourself and in others. If you or someone around you starts exhibiting the following signs, immediately go someplace cooler and drink water: dizziness, fatigue, excessive sweating, nausea, clammy skin, or muscle cramps.
- Recognize the signs of heat stroke: throbbing headache, lack of sweating, hot and dry skin, loss of consciousness, or vomiting. In the event that someone is exhibiting signs of heat stroke, seek medical attention immediately or call 9-1-1.