Staying Safe in the Heat
Prevent Window Falls
Warmer weather means open windows, and more risk of children falling out of them. Window falls can be prevented with a little knowledge, use of safety devices, and careful habits.
- Always supervise young children
- Keep windows closed and locked if possible
- Never rely on window screens to prevent children from falling out a window
- Install safety devices on windows 6 feet or more from the ground outside
- Prevent windows from opening more than 4 inches
- Keep furniture and other things that can be used for climbing away from windows
Extreme heat is a period of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees for at least two to three days. In extreme heat your body works extra hard to maintain a normal temperature, which can lead to death. In fact, extreme heat is responsible for the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards.
- Extreme heat can occur quickly
- Older adults, children, and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat
- Humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a heat index
Discover places in your community where you can go to get cool. Prepare your home:
- Cover windows with drapes or shades
- Weather-strip doors and windows
- Add insulation to keep the heat out
- Install window air conditioners and insulate around them
- Learn to recognize the signs of heat illness
- Prevent children from falling out of windows by investing in safety devices
Be Safe DURING
Never leave a child, adult, or animal alone inside a vehicle on a warm day. Go to a location with air conditioning. Libraries, shopping malls, and community centers can be a cool place to beat the heat.
- Take cool showers or baths.
- Use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home.
- If you’re outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face. Remember the sunscreen!
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Make sure pets have access to water.
- Do not use electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees. You could increase the risk of heat-related illness. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature.
- Avoid high-energy activities outdoors. Avoid working outdoors during the midday heat, if possible.
- The temperature in your vehicle can quickly become deadly. Picture an 80 degree day: within ten minutes, the inside temperature will reach 99 degrees. 20 minutes? 109 degrees! Remember to look before you lock.
- Heat can affect vulnerable populations more severely than others. This includes pregnant women, babies, children, older adults, those with chronic illness, and unhoused populations.
- Check yourself, family members, and neighbors for signs of heat-related illness.
Recognize and Respond
- Signs: Muscle pains or spasms in the stomach, arms or legs
- Actions: Go to a cooler location. Remove excess clothing. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. If you are sick and need medical attention, call your healthcare provider first. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions about whether you should go to the hospital or cooler location yourself, as you may be putting others or yourself in greater risk for contracting COVID-19. If cramps last more than an hour, seek medical attention. If possible, put on a mask before medical help arrives.
- Signs: Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, fainting, nausea, vomiting
- Actions: Go to an air-conditioned place and lie down. Loosen or remove clothing. Take a cool bath. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Call your healthcare provider if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.
- Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees) taken orally
- Red, hot and dry skin with no sweat
- Rapid, strong pulse
- Dizziness, confusion or unconsciousness
- Actions: Call 9-1-1 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives.
Pets & Hot Weather
After a long, cold winter, you're likely ready to head outdoors for some fun in the sun. Make sure your adventures are a safe one for family pets.
- Make sure pets have access to fresh water
- Know the symptoms of overheating and heatstroke in pets
- Ensure pets have shelter from the sun
- Don't let pets linger on hot asphalt
- Do not leave pets unsupervised around pools or bodies of water
- Never leave pets alone in a parked vehicle!