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10 Hot Weather Safety Tips for Older Adults

Finally, it is summertime! The perfect opportunity to get outdoors and participate in some of our favorite activities under the sun. It is essential, however, to be prepared and take extra precautions when dealing with the summer heat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 2004-2018 in the United States, there were more than 10,000 heat-related deaths. This means during that time, an average of 702 heat-related deaths occurred annually in the U.S. For older adults especially, it is essential to practice summer heat safety. So, here are the top ten tips you should follow this summer to stay safe and protect your health.

Beat the Summer Heat with These 10 Hot Weather Safety Tips

  1. Stay Hydrated

    Staying hydrated is a necessity during summer. You have to drink lots of liquids so your body can remain hydrated in the heat. That is because, in the summer, our bodies tend to lose more water due to increased sweating. Read more about how much water you should be consuming daily from the Mayo Clinic. Besides that, you should also indulge in produce that is rich in water, such as cucumbers, watermelons, strawberries, and much more. It is also best to avoid alcohol and caffeine as they contribute to dehydration.

    Click here to learn more about how to stay hydrated and its importance!
  2. Appropriate Clothing

    two older women sitting outside in the shadeSummer-appropriate clothing is essential for the season. Avoid heavy clothes and make sure your clothes are light and airy. Wear short sleeves, cotton materials, shorts, and other such clothing items to stay cool. If, however, you expect to spend prolonged time in direct sun, you should opt for long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats, and light clothing that can protect your skin from the UV rays.

    Your clothes should also be loose as tight clothing can lead to increased sweating. The clothes you wear should be summer-friendly to protect you from heat and heat-related illnesses.

    Remember to pack proper sunglasses for your time outdoors as well! Learn more about how to pick out sunglasses here!
  3. Prep Your Home

    Your home needs to be summer-ready, too, for the season. Keep a check on your air-conditioning and inspect if it is running properly. Besides that, you should also opt for someone's help to aid you in house chores such as cleaning, mowing the lawn, and other activities that might over-expose you to the summer heat.

    After all, you will need some help, and you can't do this alone in the summer. Senior citizens are more prone to heat stress, which is why you should ask a close family member or friend to help you prep your home during this time.
  4. Spend Time Indoors

    It is better to spend time indoors during the day when the harsh sun is out. The ideal time to get out is after 6 pm, when the sun is less intense. Evenings are the best time to get out and enjoy more pleasant weather. So, stay indoors during peak heat times as much as possible during the summer months.
  5. sunscreen heart on kneeSunscreen Is Your Friend

    Sunscreen is your best friend during the summertime. Invest in a sunscreen lotion that has SPF 30 or higher. Apply the lotion to all areas that are exposed to the sun. It will help protect your skin from harmful UV rays and burning.
  6. Cold Showers

    Many of us love the feeling and warmth of a hot shower. However, it is best to avoid this during the summer. If you don't like taking cold showers, you can always use lukewarm water for showering.

    It will allow your skin to cool down and you will feel much more refreshed than before. You can also take a towel, dampen it with cold water, and use it on your neck, ankles, wrists, and armpits whenever you need to cool down in the heat.
  7. Monitor Your Body

    You should always check your body during the summertime as chronic conditions may flare up due to the heat. Such conditions can also increase your chances of developing a heat-related illness. So, this is one of the most crucial summer safety tips for senior citizens.

    Be mindful of your body and your symptoms. Notice how the heat affects your body and avoid it during the day as it will only make your illnesses worse. If you have any kidney, lung, or heart illness, you should take extra precautions when going out in the heat.
  8. Don't Stay Out For Long

    retiree couple outdoors on a summer vacationLimit your exposure to the sun by not staying out for too long, especially when the heat forecast is high. Don't plan an entire day out in the sun, and if such plans take place, you should take breaks to come back indoors. You need to be cautious of how your body reacts to the heat.

    So, always check the heat forecast and then go out accordingly. If going out is necessary, you should keep a limited time and not prolong your exposure to the sun.
  9. Check Prescription Side Effects

    Many medications can make individuals sensitive to the sun and heat. If you are taking any prescriptions, you must check the side effects. In addition, it will help you determine if you need to take extra precautions during the summers.

    Once you understand these effects, take precautions accordingly and ensure you don't spend more time in the sun more than needed. After all, your health should be your top priority.
  10. Know The Signs

    Finally, you should know what a heat-related illness entails. Knowing the early signs will help you take action so you can prevent your symptoms from worsening. Most signs include dehydration, dizziness, fatigue, and much more.

    So, do your research on heat-related illnesses so you can detect the signs early on. Once you do, you can take the appropriate steps to ensure that your condition becomes better.

Prevention is always better than a trip to the emergency room, which is why it is best to be aware of heat-related illnesses and how to fight them. Once you do, your summers will be more enjoyable, and you will not face the wrath of the heat.
Make sure to stay hydrated, stay indoors, and fill yourself with knowledge on heat-related illnesses. All of this will help you make the most of your summer days!

Click here to discover some fun and safe summer day activities for people of any age

Let us know in the comments below - How do you stay safe in  the summer heat? 

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