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Beat the Heat This Fourth of July Weekend

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

July 03, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 3, 2014

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

HEALTH OFFICIALS URGE FLORIDIANS, VISITORS TO “BEAT THE HEAT” THIS 4TH OF JULY WEEKEND

TALLAHASSEE—As families and friends gather during many outdoor activities to celebrate the 4th of July, the Florida Department of Health urges residents and visitors to be aware of the forecast increase in temperatures for many areas of the state, and the potential for heat-related illnesses that may result from heat exhaustion and dehydration.

“Florida’s families are reminded to be aware of high humidity values and high temperatures during the summer months,” said Dr. Celeste Philip, Deputy Secretary for Health and Deputy State Health Officer for Children’s Medical Services. “Avoid heat-related illness by taking the proper precautions while outdoors.”

A person can experience sunstroke, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and even heatstroke if exposed to these conditions for an extended period of time. Those most prone to heat-related illness, especially heat exhaustion, are the elderly, people with high blood pressure and people working in a hot environment.

Warning signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting and fainting. If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke. If symptoms become more severe or last longer than one hour, seek medical attention immediately. If you suspect you may have heat exhaustion, take the following cooling measures: drink cool, non-alcoholic beverages; rest in an air-conditioned area; take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath; wear lightweight clothing, and prevent sun burn by applying sunscreen of 30 SPF.

To avoid becoming dehydrated, drink plenty of fluids, especially water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Young children and babies may need more fluids than normal daily intake to stay hydrated and are urged keep cool by spending time in air-conditioned areas as much as possible. Signs of dehydration include thirst, weakness, nausea, muscle cramps, feeling dizzy and light headed, decreased urine levels and/or urine that has a strong odor or is darker in color than normal, tiredness, sluggishness, irritability and headaches.

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s extreme heat webpage: www.cdc.gov/extremeheat/warning.html.

The Department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.floridahealth.gov.

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