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How to Stay Safe in the Summer Heat (Infographic)

Hot weather can be more than just uncomfortable. In some cases, it can be unhealthy and even dangerous. Find out here how to stay safe and healthy in the summer heat!

August 06, 2019 | HF Healthy Living Team

Extremely hot or humid weather can make it difficult for bodies to cool themselves. When bodies overheat or lose too much fluid or salt through dehydration or sweating, heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke can occur.

Children, older adults, people who work outside, and those with long-term health conditions are at high risk for heat-related illness. People who live in cities are also at high risk, because temperatures can soar in urban areas during the summer months.

Click on the image below to find out how to protect yourself and your loved ones from the summer heat!

Be aware of when extreme temperatures are expected—check the National Weather Service or listen to the radio to stay informed about heat waves. Pay attention to these weather warnings:

  • Heat Advisory: Potential for excessive heat within the next 3–7 days—be prepared!
  • Excessive Heat Watch: Excessive heat expected within 24–72 hours—get ready!
  • Excessive Heat Warning/Heat Advisory: Dangerous heat conditions expected within 12 hours—take action!

Signs of Heat-Related Illness and What To Do

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are types of heat-related illness. Signs of heat exhaustion include flushed skin, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, and feeling exhausted. Signs of heat stroke include high body temperature (103 degrees or higher); red, hot, dry skin; rapid pulse; rapid, shallow breathing; confusion; vomiting; loss of consciousness; and seizures. Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition.

If you or someone else shows signs of heat-related illness:

  • Immediately move him or her to a cool, shady spot
  • Remove extra clothing
  • Use cold towels, compresses, or ice to cool his or her body. If you can, submerge him or her in cool water.
  • If you suspect heat stroke, call 9-1-1 or get medical help as soon as possible

Do you plan on working out on a hot day? Find out what you should know about exercising in the heat. Staying indoors? Find five low-cost or free indoor activities in New York City here!


© 2019 HF Management Services, LLC

Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies.

This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

“10 Tips for Extreme Heat Safety,” Save the Children. Accessed May 8, 2017.

“Common Heat Related Illnesses,” National Weather Service. Accessed May 8, 2017.

“Extreme Heat Prevention Guide,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. September 22, 2015.

“Heat Wave Safety Checklist,” The American National Red Cross. Accessed May 8, 2017.

“How to Treat Heat-Related Illness,” The American National Red Cross. Accessed May 8, 2017.

“Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. June 1, 2012.

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