Staying Safe in the Heat of Summer


Heat-related illnesses are not uncommon during the summer months in California. A heat-related illness can occur when a person’s temperature rises too rapidly or when the body loses too much salt and fluids. If left unmanaged, heat exhaustion may lead to heat stroke, which is a life-threatening condition. While preventing heat-related illnesses is always preferable, you can find the help you need at a community hospital if you do develop signs of heat stroke.

Working or Playing Outdoors Safely

It’s advisable to avoid remaining in high temperatures for long periods of time. If you do need to be outdoors, drinking plenty of sports drinks and other fluids can help prevent heat-related illnesses. Additionally, try to take frequent breaks in an air conditioned area to cool off. Wearing lightweight and lightly colored clothing can also help.

Preventing Hyperthermia in Parked Cars

Many people underestimate how quickly a parked car can heat up, even in mild temperatures. Children, the elderly, and pets are all at a heightened risk of hyperthermia, or elevated body temperature. Leaving the car windows slightly open does not offer enough protection from hyperthermia. Instead, avoid leaving anyone in a parked car for any length of time.

Staying Safe during a Heat Wave

During a heat wave, it’s particularly important to be proactive about preventing heat-related illnesses. Experts often advise individuals to delay strenuous activities until cooler temperatures are reached, such as during the evenings or early mornings. Stay within the coolest area available to you. If your home lacks air conditioning, head to a nearby public library, mall, or other air conditioned location. Drinking plenty of fluids is also advisable, although alcoholic beverages should be avoided.

The Emergency Department at Riverside Community Hospital provides 24/7 care for those who are suffering from heat stroke or other medical emergencies. At our hospital, members of the Riverside community will also find a range of healthcare specialties, such as bariatric weight loss, organ transplant, robotic surgery, and heart health services. If you would like to speak with a registered nurse in Riverside, call (951) 788-3000.

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