Tips for Heat Awareness Day, June 7

June 7 is Heat Awareness Day, despite the fact that heat has already hit Iowa hard this year. The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) and the National Weather Service are again co-sponsoring Heat Awareness Day in Iowa.

Now is a great time to remind Iowans to be careful when summertime temps start to rise.

Hyperthermia is an acute condition that occurs when one?s body absorbs more heat than it can dissipate. It can even happen on a mild day.

To prevent becoming ill due to heat, there are a few simple tips to follow:

? Drink plenty of water regularly.

? Eat light, well-balanced meals.

? Dress in loosefitting, light-colored clothing that covers as much skin as possible.

? Stay indoors, and, if possible, stay in the air conditioning when it gets extremely hot. If one does not have access to air conditioning, remain on the lowest floor and out of the sunshine.

? If staying inside is not an option, applying a high-SPF sunscreen is recommended. A sunburn will slow the skin?s ability to cool itself.

? Avoid sitting in direct sunlight by sitting in the shade, or wear a wide-brimmed hat.

? Reduce or eliminate strenuous activities.

Remember, children and pets are especially susceptible to the effects of heat.

Practice these safety measures:

? Make sure children and pets always have plenty of water to drink.

? Do not leave either kids or pets in a car for any amount of time unattended or without air conditioning. Studies have shown the temperature in an enclosed vehicle can rise 20 degrees in as few as 10 minutes, and ?cracking? a window will have little effect in keeping the interior of a car cool.

? Check the back seat of the car when the destination is reached to make sure all kids and pets are out.

? Keep pet hair cut to an inch or less.

? Do not exercise pets in the middle of the day when it?s warm. Instead, take them out in the early morning or late at night. Remember, a dog can overheat when an owner can just feel ?warm.?

? If a child or pet show any signs of distress due to overheating, seek medical care immediately.

For additional information, visit the Ready Iowa website.