Extreme heat is a prolonged period of dangerously high temperatures. Most often this involves a combination of high air temperatures and high humidity, causing the air to feel even hotter than it is. This is known as the heat index.
Knowing the heat index is important because your body responds as if it is really that hot out. This makes dangerous and even deadly heat illnesses much more likely.
Take these precautions to stay cool in the heat:
- Limit outdoor activity, especially midday when the sun is hottest.
- Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more. Water is better at cooling your body than drinks with sugar.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Use sunscreen.
Check on family and neighbors
During periods of extreme heat, check on relatives, neighbors, older adults and other vulnerable community members to ensure they are staying cool and hydrated. Those at highest risk include people 65 and older, children younger than two, and people with chronic diseases or mental illness.
Do not leave children or pets in cars in warm weather
The inside of cars can heat very quickly on any warm day. It doesn't take a heat wave. Even a temperature of 70 degrees outside can quickly heat up inside a parked car so that those inside can become seriously injured in a few minutes and die in less than an hour.
Cracking the windows does little to stop the buildup of heat. Never leave children, vulnerable adults or pets in a parked car in warm weather – even for a few minutes. If you see someone trapped in a car on a hot day for more than a couple of minutes, there may be a medical emergency. Call 911 immediately.