Heat Awareness Day

Written by Theresa Rose on June 5, 2018

Heat Awareness Day is coming fast, but the heat’s already hit Iowa pretty hard this year.

The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) and the National Weather Service are again co-sponsoring Heat Awareness Day in Iowa on June 7, 2018. Now is a great time to remind Iowans to be careful when summertime temps start to rise.

Hyperthermia is an acute condition that occurs when one’s body absorbs more heat than it can dissipate. It can even happen on a mild day. To prevent becoming ill due to heat, there are a few simple tips you can follow:

  • Drink plenty of water regularly.
  • Eat light, well-balanced meals.
  • Dress in loose-fitting, lightcolored clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
  • Stay indoors. If possible, stay in the air conditioning when it gets extremely hot. If you do not have access to air conditioning, remain on the lowest floor and out of the sunshine.
  • If you cannot stay inside, be sure to apply a high-SPF sunscreen. A sunburn will slow your skin’s ability to cool itself.
  • Avoid sitting in direct sunlight. Sit in the shade, or wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Slow down. Reduce or eliminate strenuous activities.

Remember, children and pets are especially susceptible to the effects of heat. Practice these safety measures:

  • Make sure children and pets always have plenty of water to drink.
  • Do not leave either kids or pets in a car for any amount of time unattended or without air conditioning. Studies have shown the temperature in an enclosed vehicle can rise 20 degrees in as few as 10 minutes, and ‘cracking’ a window will have little effect in keeping the interior of a car cool.
  • Check the backseat of the car when you reach your destination to make sure all kids and pets are out.
  • Keep your pet’s hair cut to an inch or less.
  • Don’t exercise pets in the middle of the day when it’s warm. Instead, take them out in the early morning or late at night. Remember, your dog can overheat when you just feel “warm.”

If your child or pet show any signs of distress due to overheating, seek medical care immediately.

For additional information, visit the Ready Iowa website