HEALTH OFFICIALS URGE FLORIDIANS, VISITORS TO BEAT THE HEAT, STAY COOL
TALLAHASSEE – With high temperatures forecast for Florida today and throughout the weekend, the Florida Department of Health urges residents and visitors across the state to beat the heat and stay cool, healthy and safe.
“Florida’s families, especially those with young children, are encouraged to take precautions to keep cool in high temperatures,” said Dr. Celeste Philip, Deputy Secretary for Health and Deputy State Health Officer for Children’s Medical Services. “Staying cool will help to protect your family from heat stroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration.”
In a heat wave, keeping your cool will keep you healthy. People and animals should stay indoors. If you don’t have air-conditioning, go to the mall, library or a community relief shelter. Remember to drink more fluids, but avoid alcohol and high sugar drinks. When going out, wear light clothing and never leave any persons, especially infants or young children, or animals in a closed, parked vehicle.
During extreme heat, a person can experience sunstroke, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and even heatstroke if exposed to high temperatures and humidity for an extended period of time. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are the elderly, people with high blood pressure and people working in a hot environment.
Warning signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting and fainting. If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke. If symptoms become more severe or last longer than one hour, seek medical attention immediately. If you suspect you may have heat exhaustion, take the following cooling measures: drink cool, non-alcoholic beverages; rest in an air-conditioned area; take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath; wear lightweight clothing, and prevent sun burn by applying sunscreen of 30 SPF.
To avoid becoming dehydrated, drink plenty of fluids, especially water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Young children and babies may need more fluids than normal daily intake to stay hydrated and are urged keep cool by spending time in air-conditioned areas as much as possible. Signs of dehydration include thirst, weakness, nausea, muscle cramps, feeling dizzy and light headed, decreased urine levels and/or urine that has a strong odor or is darker in color than normal, tiredness, sluggishness, irritability and headaches.
The Department also reminds Floridians to be mindful of the needs of pets. Make sure that pets have access to water, ventilation and shade.
The Department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. During 2014, the Department is recognizing 125 years of public health in Florida with educational opportunities and events. Please visit www.FLHealth125.gov for more information.
Contact: Communications Office, (850) 245-4111