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Health department provides tips for staying safe in the heat

It may be early September, but the Lexington area is feeling the hottest temperatures so far this year.

Temperatures are expected to reach the upper 90s again Friday.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is asking people to follow safety precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses.

Officials with the health department have provided the following tips for staying safe in the heat:

Drink plenty of fluids. You will need to drink more fluids than your thirst level indicates. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages or drinks with large amounts of sugar because they cause you to lose more fluid.

Wear sunscreen and appropriate clothing. Sunscreen should be SPF 15 or greater and applied 30 minutes before going outdoors. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Wear a wide-brimmed hat that will provide shade and keep your head cool.

Schedule outdoor activities carefully. If you must be outside, try to plan your activities so that you are outdoors either before noon or in the evening.

Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.

Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.

Use a buddy system. When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you.

Health officials say signs of heat-related illnesses include an extremely high body temperature (above 103°F); red, hot and dry skin (no sweating); rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; muscle cramps; tiredness and unconsciousness.

If anyone starts to experience these symptoms, you're asked to seek medical help immediately.


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