Summertime Health and Safety Resources
New England summers can bring hot temperatures and oppressive humidity, especially in July and August. Summertime activity, whether it be recreation, work, or exercise, must be balanced with actions that help the body cool itself to prevent heat-related illness. This is especially important for older adults, pregnant women, young children, athletes, and people who work outdoors.
During hot weather, it’s important to do the following:
- Never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20°F within 10 minutes.
- Slow down and avoid strenuous activity.
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Light colors reflect heat and sunlight, and help maintain normal body temperature.
- Drink plenty of water — even if you are not thirsty. Avoid alcoholic beverages and liquids high in sugar or caffeine. If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink, ask how much you should drink during hot weather.
- Eat well-balanced, light, regular meals.
- Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun. Do not leave pets outside for extended periods of time.
- If you must be outdoors, limit your outdoor activity to the morning and evening hours. Try to rest often in shady areas so your body temperature will have a chance to recover. Use sunscreen with a high SPF and wear a wide-brimmed hat. Check your local UV index!
- If you do not have air conditioning, stay on your lowest floor, out of the sun. Use fans to stay cool and avoid using your stove and oven. Consider spending time in air-conditioned public spaces, such as schools, libraries, theaters, and other community facilities.
- Check with your local authorities or Call 2-1-1 to find locations of cooling centers or shelters near you.
- On hot days, more people cool off around bodies of water. Playing in and around water can increase the risk of drowning. Learn how to keep yourself and your children safe in and around water with these Water Safety Tips.
- If there are power outages during warm weather, you may need to take additional precautions or go to a cooling center or emergency shelter to stay cool.
- Know the symptoms of and watch out for heat-related illnesses. Call 9-1-1 to report emergencies.
- Be a good neighbor. Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions, those who may need additional assistance, and those who may not have air conditioning.