(Amanda Mills ~ CDC)
These are the main things affecting your body's ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather:
* High humidity. When the humidity is high, sweat won't evaporate as quickly, which keeps your body from releasing heat as fast as it may need to.
* Personal factors. Age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, prescription drug and alcohol use can play a role in whether a person can cool off enough in very hot weather.
Here are some facts about which people are at greatest risk for heat-related illness and what protective actions to take to prevent illness or death:
* People who are at highest risk are the elderly, the young and people with mental illness and chronic diseases.
* But even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather.
* Air-conditioning is the No. 1 protective factor against heat-related illness and death. If a home is not air-conditioned, people can reduce their risk for heat-related illness by spending time in public facilities that are air-conditioned.
You can take these steps to prevent heat-related illnesses, injuries and deaths during hot weather:
* Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location.
* Drink plenty of fluids.
* Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and sunscreen.
* Schedule outdoor activities carefully.
* Pace yourself.
* Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
* Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.
* Do not leave children in cars.
* Check the local news for health and safety updates.