Stay Cool in the Heat
With the heat and humidity on the rise, know how to stay cool and healthy this summer.
Here are some tips to help you avoid heat-related illnesses:
- Drink more water, regardless of your activity level. Avoid liquids with large amounts of sugar—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Drink before you start to feel thirsty.
- Eat light meals. Fruits and vegetables are full of water and are easier to digest than fatty meats like hamburger, which can leave you feeling sluggish in the heat.
- Dress for the weather. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- Limit your outdoor activity to the morning and evening hours. If you must be outside during the day, take frequent breaks in a shaded area and hydrate often.
- Refuel. If you’re outside for an extended period of time, replace carbohydrates and sodium you lose while sweating by drinking sports beverages or eating healthy snacks.
- Wear sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and UVA/UVB protection, and reapply often.
- Find an air-conditioned place to cool off. When the National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for the Kansas City area, we open our Y centers to the community during the hottest part of the day and serve as Cooling Centers from 1-4 p.m. Learn more. For a list of additional cooling centers throughout the community, call United Way of Greater Kansas City’s 2-1-1 hotline or search 2-1-1 resources online.
Although anyone can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on young children and the elderly, as well as people who have a mental illness and those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure.
For more information on heat-related illnesses and prevention, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.