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Residents Encouraged To Take Precautions During Hot Summer Months

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

August 26, 2015

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August 26, 2015


Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

Tallahassee, Fla.—Summer is winding down, but Florida's typical heat is sticking around. Higher temperatures can be a cause for concern, especially for people ages 65 or older who are more prone to heat stress. Older people do not adjust well to changes in temperature, and they are more likely to have chronic illnesses or be taking medications that could be aggravated by the heat. The Florida Department of Health encourages the development of safe habits to prevent heat-related illness.

"Florida is a great place to get outside and be active," said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John H. Armstrong. "To enjoy the sunshine in our Sunshine State, I encourage all ages to drink plenty of water and use sunscreen."

"Florida's seniors are a valuable part of our community," said Department of Elder Affairs Secretary Samuel P. Verghese. "The Department of Elder Affairs encourages all Floridians to be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can be substantially more harmful for older adults. The Departments of Health and Elder Affairs want seniors and their families to safely enjoy the outdoors and stay healthy, active and safe."

Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can be dangerous for all people and may result in heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Knowing the warning signs for these illnesses is the first step to prevention. Possible warning signs for heat exhaustion include excessive sweating, fatigue, headache, nausea or vomiting.

Heat exhaustion can result in heatstroke, which in some cases may result in death or permanent disability. Heatstroke occurs when the body can no longer cool itself down, and it may be indicated by:

  • Body temperature at or above 103 °F
  • Flushed skin that is hot to the touch
  • No sweating
  • Rapid pulse
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Older people can stay safe in the heat by drinking plenty of water regardless of activity level, wearing lightweight clothing, staying in areas with air conditioning as much as possible and avoiding long periods of time outside during the hottest parts of the day.

For more information about how older people can stay safe and avoid heat-related illness, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

About the Florida Department of Health

The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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