It’s been very hot in Minnesota, and we’ve heard from some people who have had concerns regarding staying safe.
Individuals on certain medications may be more vulnerable to heat stress. Persons taking regular medication should consult with their physician. Some medications cause an adverse reaction in hot weather, such as reducing a person’s ability to sweat. If you are on such a medication, or if you know someone who is, please take a look at these strategies for managing heat stress.
To avoid heat-related illness:
- Avoid, as much as possible, working or playing in the hot sun or other hot areas. If you must be out in the sun, wear a head covering and sunscreen. A wide brimmed hat or visor will not only protect your head from intense rays of the sun; it will also provide a shield for your eyes.
- Shut blinds and open windows slightly during the day to release trapped hot air. Use air conditioners if you have them.
- Wear lightweight clothing.
- Drink plenty of water and fruit juices; avoid alcohol, carbonated or caffeinated drinks. Because the body loses fluids in the heat, drinking lots of liquids helps to avoid dehydration.
- Eat frequent, small meals; avoid high-protein foods
- Take cool baths or showers—cold water can lower body temperatures 25 times faster than sitting in an air-conditioned room
- Spend time (even 2 hours will reduce the risk of heat-related illness) in an air-conditioned environment or basement; cover windows to block direct sunlight; turn lights on low or off; use fans to blow hot air outside. Public libraries, community centers or other similar locations may be a good option for spending some time away from the heat.
- Do NOT direct fans to blow in at you. Fans can actually increase heat stress.
- Do not leave older people, children, or pets, alone in cars.
Non-emergency questions about how to stay cool—call 2-1-1 or visit the heat information at the Office of the Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities.
For emergency heat-related health problems—please call 9-1-1