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Health recommendations for staying safe in the summer’s heat

The Florida Department of Health in Sumter County (DOH-Sumter) is urging residents to take precautions in the summer heat as temperatures continue to soar to dangerous levels.

DOH-Sumter recommends the following safety measures to minimize the risk of heat-related illnesses:

Hydration is key

Drink plenty of water, and be mindful of how much alcohol and caffeine you consume on hot days, as these can cause dehydration.

Find ways to stay cool

Minimize the amount of time spent in direct sunlight. If you do find yourself outdoors, wear lightweight, loose-fitting, and light-colored clothing to help your body regulate its temperature. Wear ample amounts of sunscreen, and protect your face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat. It is best to minimize time outside during the hottest parts of the day, but if you must be outside, take frequent breaks in shaded areas and avoid strenuous physical activity. DOH-Sumter recommends spending time in air conditioned settings, and for those who do not have air conditioning to visit public buildings or places with shade.

Check on vulnerable individuals

Be mindful of those more susceptible to heat-related illnesses — the elderly, children and anyone with pre-existing health conditions. Make sure these individuals have access to a cool environment and enough hydration.

Do not leave children, pets or vulnerable individuals in unattended vehicles

Vehicles heat up quickly, even with windows slightly open, and can be life-threatening.

DOH-Sumter urges people to remain attentive when out during peak summer months and to look out for each other.