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Hospitals offer ways to beat the heat

EAU CLAIRE – As summer temperatures climb, more people can become vulnerable to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. While seniors are more likely to be affected by high temperatures and heat-related problems than younger people, heat exhaustion and heat stroke can affect anyone if conditions are right.

The only way to address heat-related illness before it happens is to adopt a series of simple but critical precautions. When the heat index is high, you should stay indoors in air-conditioned areas. If you must go outside, Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals recommend the following precautions:
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat or using an umbrella
  • Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more
  • Drink plenty of water before starting an outdoor activity
  • During an outdoor activity, take frequent breaks. Drink water or other fluids every 15 to 20 minutes, even if you don't feel thirsty
  • Take cool showers or baths to keep your body temperature cool
  • Drink fewer beverages that contain caffeine (such as tea, coffee and soda) or alcohol, or liquids containing large amounts of sugar
  • Schedule vigorous outdoor activities for cooler times of the day -- before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
  • Check local news for extreme heat alerts and changing temperatures

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