As the temps climb, everyone should be aware of the warning signs of heat stroke and ways to avoid heat-related illnesses. Anyone is susceptible, even those who are young and who appear to be healthy.

It’s best to avoid outdoor activity in the early afternoon (about noon to 3 p.m.) because the sun is usually at its strongest, putting you at higher risk for heat-related illnesses. If possible, work or exercise alongside a friend, because it’s safer — and more enjoyable — to have someone at your side. Get medical attention immediately if you have any symptoms of heat stroke (see graphic).

Before you get started, apply a water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 15, and reapply it every two hours. Stay hydrated by drinking a few cups of water before, during and after your exercise. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages. In addition, take regular breaks. Find some shade or a cool place, stop for a few minutes, hydrate and start again.

By Cyd King, Communications Director
American Heart Association-NWA