Excessive heat causes more deaths than all other weather events. Be sure to check on family, friends and neighbors who spend much of their time alone or who may be more affected by the heat. When possible, slow down and stay indoors. Following these simple heat safety tips to stay safe:
- Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty.
- Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine.
- When outdoors, avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing and take frequent breaks indoors or in the shade.
- If you do not have a working air conditioner, seek relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day in places such as libraries, theaters and malls.
- Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water and shade.
Before going in, on or around the water, every family member should become “water smart.” This starts with learning to be safe, making good choices, and learning to swim to at least achieve the skills of water competency. Everyone should be able to enter the water, get a breath, stay afloat, change position, swim a distance and then get out of the water safely. A variety of water safety courses and resources are available to help. To help keep your family safe, the Red Cross offers these tips:
- Prevent unsupervised access to water. Fence pools and spas with adequate barriers and keep a constant eye for any water dangers such as portable splash pools/slides, buckets and bathtubs.
- Adults should actively supervise children and stay within arm’s reach of young children and new swimmers. Kids should follow the rules. Designate a “water watcher” to keep a close eye and constant attention on children and weaker swimmers in and around the water until the next water watcher takes over.
- Always wear a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when on a boat and if in a situation beyond someone’s skill level.
- Swim as a pair near a lifeguard’s chair — everyone, including experienced swimmers, should swim with a buddy even in areas supervised by lifeguards. Always maintain constant attention and actively supervise children even when lifeguards are present.
- Download the Red Cross Swim app, sponsored by The ZAC Foundation, for safety tips, kid-friendly videos and activities, and take the free Water Safety for Parents and Caregivers online course.