Summer Heat Safety Reminders

Summer Heat Safety Reminders

Summer Heat Safety Reminders

Staying safe during hot summer months isn’t hard. But there are steps you need to take. Drinking lots of water and wearing sunscreen isn’t enough. Here are three things to know to keep summer fun.

UV Rays Can Hurt You
Ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun can spell danger. Too much UV exposure raises the chances of getting skin cancer. Frequent sunburns, particularly in childhood, up the risk. That’s because most of an average person's UV exposure happens before the age of 18. Later, it can also lead to premature aging through fine lines, wrinkles and skin discoloration. The Environmental Protection Agency leaving site icon suggests wearing protective clothing, a sunscreen with a 15 SPF or higher and staying out of the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wear UV-protective sunglasses to shield your eyes from UV rays that can harm eyesight and cause cataracts.

A Child Is Never Safe Alone in a Car
Leaving a child in a parked car, even if just for a few minutes, can have devastating results. Cracking a window to make it cooler doesn’t make it safe. Neither does leaving the air conditioning running.  A child’s body temperature can rise three to five times faster than an adult’s, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationleaving site icon Many children are hurt or die after being left in a car accidentally. Remember to Park / Look / Lock to make sure you’re not forgetting a baby or child in the car. And always keep cars locked. That way a child can’t crawl in unnoticed.

Heat-related Illnesses Call for Quick Action
Hot weather can be a danger to anyone. Children, older adults, outdoor workers and athletes are especially at risk for heat-related illness. Watch out for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke can cause disability or death if the person does not get emergency care, says the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. leaving site icon Signs may involve:

  • Confusion and slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Hot, dry skin
  • Excessive sweating
  • Seizures
  • Very high body temperature

Someone with heat exhaustion also needs urgent help and may have these signs:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Anger

Pay attention to the heat to stay safe. Summer can also be a good time to hang out in cool places and skip some outdoor activities. 

Sources: Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation and Sun Exposureleaving site icon Environmental Protection Agency, 2021; You Can Prevent Hot Car Deathsleaving site icon National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2022; Heat Stress – Heat Related Illness, leaving site icon National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2022.

Originally published 8/11/2016; Revised 2019, 2022