Prevent Heat Illness
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 600 people die from extreme heat and heat-related illnesses each year. These preventable deaths illustrate how important preparation is during extreme temperatures. Whether you are swimming at the beach or lounging in the park, you should be prepared for extreme heat conditions.
The CDC provides three easy steps to prevent heat-related illnesses: stay cool, stay hydrated and stay informed. This summer, make sure you have shade wherever you are going and wear attire like a sun hat or a thin, long-sleeved shirt to avoid direct contact with the sun. Be sure to drink lots of water—more than you usually do. Your body loses fluids in the summer more quickly, which can lead to illness. Finally, stay informed by monitoring the local weather forecast, and prepare accordingly for outdoor activities.
Know the Signs
The two most dangerous heat-related illnesses, besides dehydration, are heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Heat exhaustion is exhibited through cold, clammy skin, heavy sweating and nausea. If you or someone else shows these symptoms, move to a cooler location and sip water. If you or someone else has a rapid pulse, hot and red skin, and lose consciousness, this could mean heatstroke, and you should call 911 immediately. In this latter scenario, do not give fluids to the person showing the symptoms. Do, however, move them to a cooler location and lower their temperature with cool cloths.
Cook Out Safely
During the summer, stovetops and ovens get swapped for grills. It’s important to not forget about food safety guidelines while grilling out:
- Don’t cross-contaminate. Keep raw and cooked foods separate by not using the same platters or utensils.
- Cook your food thoroughly. Cooking on a grill often results in quicker browning of the meat on the outside, but the inside can remain raw. Use a food thermometer to ensure your meat is cooked properly.
- All raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops and roasts should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 F.
- All ground beef, pork, lamb and veal should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 160 F.
- Poultry should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 F.
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