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It's HOT in Florida - Drink Water !!

Welcome to Summer in Florida ó no surprise that itís hot and humid. Those whoíve lived here for a while know it will get worse before the joy of winter. But if youíre new to the our State and delighting in having escaped the frozen North, donít be fooled. That sun and heat can be dangerous to your health. 

Common sense tells us to stay out of the heat during the hottest part of the day, drink plenty of water and do not get overheated. Itís not always that easy, though. Many people work outside. Even for retirees, getting regular exercise and keeping up with the yard, errands and other daily demands can make summer living less than easy. And, people age 65 and older are less likely to notice or respond to changes in temperature, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), making them more at risk for heat-related illnesses.

Here are some tips::

+ Stay inside mid-day. Walk the dogs, exercise outside or do yard work early in the morning or in the evening. 
+ Take cover. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing made from cotton or one of the synthetic fabrics designed to wick away sweat. Add a wide-brimmed hat and bring your umbrella to provide shade and cover from the afternoon showers. 
+ Drink plenty of water. It cannot be said enough, drink, drink, drink. During hot weather, donít just drink when youíre thirsty, drink frequently. Water is best. Avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine or lots of sugar, which are dehydrating.

+ Never leave anyone including animals in the car! When it is scorching hot outside, the interior of your car can become an oven, baking everything ó and everyone ó inside.  A few-minutes run into the store can turn into tragedy.

Heat-related illnesses: When is too much really too much?

Heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke, occur when your body canít keep itself cool. On hot, humid days, sweat doesnít evaporate as quickly because of the increased moisture in the air. When sweating isnít enough to cool your body, your body temperature rises, and you may become ill. 

Anyone can fall victim to a heat-related illness but according to the CDC, those at greatest risk include infants and children up to 4 years of age, people 65 years of age and older, people who are overweight and people who are ill or on certain medications. 

Muscle cramping might be the first sign of heat-related illness, and may lead to heat exhaustion or stroke, which can be a life-threatening illness. Here is how you can recognize heat exhaustion and heat stroke and what to do:

Signs of Heat exhaustion:
+ Heavy sweating
+ Weakness
+ Cold, pale, and clammy skin
+ Fast, weak pulse
+ Nausea or vomiting
+ Fainting
If you have any of the above signs:
+  Move to a cooler location.
+ Lie down and loosen your clothing.
+ Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible.
+ Sip water.
+ If you have vomited and it continues, seek medical attention immediately.

Signs of Heat stroke:
+ High body temperature (above 103 degrees)
+ Hot, red, dry or moist skin
+ Rapid and strong pulse
+ Possible unconsciousness
Call 911 immediately ó this is a medical emergency!!!!
+ Move the person to a cooler environment.
+ Reduce the personís body temperature with cool cloths or even a bath.
+ Do NOT give fluids. 

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