Wellness Wednesday: Safety First, Last and Always

It’s June. And that means backyard barbecues, pool parties and kids home for the summer …which makes it the perfect time to talk about safety!

Warning SignJune is National Safety Month. That doesn’t mean you can ignore the rules of safety during the other 11 months of the year. It just means it’s time for us to focus on what it means to practice proper safety methods in everything we do, every day of the year.

During the summer, that means practicing sun and fun safety. Here are some summer safety tips:

Wear sunscreen, stay hydrated and seek shade. You can reduce your risk of skin damage and skin cancer by seeking shade or shelter before you need relief from the sun. Your best bet to protect your skin is to use sunscreen or wear protective clothing when you’re outside—even when in the shade.

Keep children and pets safe. Do not leave pets or children in hot cars or near a pool alone. It only takes 5-10 minutes for a car to reach dangerous levels! And do not leave your pets outside unsupervised or for long periods of time without shade. They have a much harder time regulating temperature than humans.

Don’t let safety take a vacation. Always remain aware of your surroundings while on vacation. Carry your purse or wallet close to your body or in a front pocket. Never share on social media that you are going to be away from your home for an extended period of time. Let someone at home know where you will be at all times and how to reach you in case of emergency.

Be safe at the beach. Always swim near a lifeguard stand, and listen to what the lifeguards tell you. Never take your eyes off children and don’t assume the lifeguard or someone else is watching them. Beware of dangerous rip currents, which can occur in any open body of water. If caught in a rip current swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current, then swim to shore.

Never, ever swim alone. Just don’t do it! Even if you’re an excellent swimmer, you can’t plan for every emergency. A child or an adult can drown in mere seconds.

Hear thunder? Get out of the water! If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you. Lightning kills an average of 49 people in the U.S. each year. And in the water is the most dangerous place to be in a storm. Wait at least a half hour after hearing the last rumble of thunder before entering the water again.

Young boy wearing flotation device holds onto edge of poolSecure your backyard pool. Tragically, over 300 children under the age of 5 drown in backyard swimming pools each year. And it is not always even their own pool. 33 percent of drowning incidents happened in a pool owned by friends, relatives or neighbors. So make sure you have the proper enclosure or fencing for your pool, even if you don’t have children. This isn’t just a suggestion. Pool safety barrier guidelines have been written into most residential building codes. Also, children can drown in as little as one inch of water so empty kiddie swimming pools when finished with them as well.

Leave the fireworks to the professionals. If you do use fireworks, keep a bucket of water handy and use them in a clear area away from buildings and trees. Make sure to obey your state’s laws regarding fireworks. Never let children use fireworks!

When picnicking, carry food in a cooler with cold packs. Keep your cold food cold. Food can spoil much quicker in warmer weather. Clean produce and keep any raw meats separately. Be sure to cook food thoroughly and never reuse utensils or serving plates that have been used to carry raw meats.

These are just some of the most important safety tips you should always remember to keep yourself and your family safe. And these apply not only during the summer months but all year round.

What are some other summer safety tips you’d recommend?

Sources: American Red Cross, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Food and Drug Administration

 

Wellness Wednesday: Indoor Tanning is Not a Safe Option

SolariumMany people believe that using a tanning bed, booth or sunlamp is safer than tanning outside in the sun. But the truth is that just like sun tanning, indoor tanning also exposes users to two types of ultraviolet (UV) rays, UVA and UVB, which can lead to skin cancer.

UV rays can damage the actual DNA of skin cells, which is what is believed to lead to skin cancer. They also damage the skin, causing wrinkles, rashes and dark spots. And tanning is particularly dangerous for the young. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who begin tanning during adolescence or early adulthood have a higher risk of melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer. This may be due to greater use of indoor tanning among those who begin tanning at earlier ages.

Every time you tan, whether indoors or at the beach, you increase your risk of getting skin cancer, including melanoma. Indoor tanning also—

  • Causes premature skin aging, like wrinkles and age spots.
  • Changes your skin texture.
  • Increases the risk of potentially blinding eye diseases, if eye protection is not used.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., and unlike almost all other kinds of cancer, the rates are climbing. Today, more than 3.5 million skin cancers are diagnosed each year in the U.S. That’s more than all other cancers combined. The best way to protect yourself from skin cancer is to limit your exposure to UV rays, whether they come from the sun or from man-made sources such as indoor tanning beds.

Indoor Tanning Myths and Truths

A base tan is not a safe tan.

A Base Tan Is Not a Safe Tan Myth: A tan acts as the body’s natural protection against sunburn.

Truth: A tan is the body’s response to injury from UV rays, showing that damage has been done. It does little to protect you from future UV exposure.

Tanned skin is not healthy skin.

Tanned Skin Is Not Healthy Skin Myth: Tanning gives people a “healthy glow.”

Truth: Whether tanning or burning, you are exposing yourself to harmful UV rays that damage your skin. In fact, every time you tan, you increase your risk of melanoma.

Controlled tanning is not safe tanning.

Controlled Tanning Is Not Safe TanningMyth: Indoor tanning is safe because you can control your level of exposure to UV rays.

Truth: Indoor tanning exposes you to intense UV rays, increasing your risk of melanoma—the second most common cancer in women between 20 and 29 years old.

Tanning Facts

  • skincancerUltraviolet (UV) radiation is a proven human carcinogen.
  • The International Agency for Research on Cancer, an affiliate of the World Health Organization, includes ultraviolet (UV) tanning devices in its Group 1, a list of agents that are cancer-causing to humans. Group 1 also includes agents such as plutonium, cigarettes and solar UV radiation.
  • Eleven states plus the District of Columbia now prohibit indoor tanning for minors younger than age 18.
  • Brazil and Australia have banned indoor tanning altogether. Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the UK have banned indoor tanning for people younger than age 18.
  • More than 419,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S. each year are linked to indoor tanning, including about 245,000 basal cell carcinomas, 168,000 squamous cell carcinomas, and 6,200 melanomas.
  • More people develop skin cancer because of tanning than develop lung cancer because of smoking.
  • Individuals who have used tanning beds 10 or more times in their lives have a 34 percent increased risk of developing melanoma compared to those who have never used tanning beds.
  • People who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for melanoma by 75 percent.

How to protect yourself

  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. Both can cause serious long-term skin damage and contribute to skin cancer.
  • Cover up. When you are out in the sun, wear clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to protect as much skin as possible. Protect your eyes with sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of UV light.
  • Use sunscreen with “broad spectrum” protection and a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Be sure to reapply at least every 2 hours, as well as after swimming or sweating. And always follow the directions on the label.
  • Seek shade. Limit your direct exposure to the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The American Cancer Society

Wellness Wednesday: Protect All the Skin You’re In

protect_infographicSkin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, yet most skin cancers can be prevented.

Every year, there are 63,000 new cases of and 9,000 deaths from melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Ultraviolet (UV) exposure is the most common cause of skin cancer. A new CDC study shows that the majority of Americans are not using sunscreen regularly to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

In fact, fewer than 15% of men and fewer than 30% of women reported using sunscreen regularly on their face and other exposed skin when outside for more than 1 hour.

Many women report that they regularly use sunscreen on their faces but not on other exposed skin.

Choose sun protection strategies that work.

  • Use broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15+ to protect any exposed skin.
  • Seek shade, especially during midday hours.
  • Wear a hat, sunglasses and other clothes to protect skin.
  • Sunscreen works best when used with shade or clothes, and it must be re-applied every two hours and after swimming, sweating, and toweling off.

Read more:
http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/pdf/skincancer_family.pdf

Wellness Wednesday: Indoor Tanning and the Risks of Ultraviolet Rays

ucm399147Sunlamps and tanning beds promise consumers a bronzed body year-round, but the ultraviolet (UV) radiation from these devices poses serious health risks.

“Although some people think that a tan gives them a ‘healthy’ glow, any tan is a sign of skin damage,” says Sharon Miller, M.S.E.E., a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientist and international expert on UV radiation and tanning.

“A tan is the skin’s reaction to exposure to UV rays,” says Miller. “Recognizing exposure to the rays as an ‘insult,’ the skin acts in self-defense by producing more melanin, a pigment that darkens the skin. Over time, this damage will lead to prematurely aged skin and, in some cases, skin cancer.”

Two types of UV radiation that penetrate the skin are UV-B and UV-A rays.

  • UV-B rays penetrate the top layers of skin and are most responsible for sunburns.
  • UV-A rays penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin and are often associated with allergic reactions, such as a rash.

Both UV-B and UV-A rays damage the skin and can lead to skin cancer. Tanning salons use lamps that emit both UV-A and UV-B radiation.

Cancer Risk

basetan_623_806Exposure to UV radiation—whether from the sun or from artificial sources such as sunlamps used in tanning beds—increases the risk of developing skin cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is linked to getting severe sunburns, especially at a young age.

In July 2009, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, concluded that tanning devices that emit UV radiation are more dangerous than previously thought. IARC moved these devices into the highest cancer risk category: “carcinogenic to humans.” Previously, it had categorized the devices as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

Development of cancer is a long process that may take decades. Therefore, IARC also recommended banning commercial indoor tanning for those younger than 18 years to protect them from the increased risk for melanoma and other skin cancers.

IARC’s conclusions and recommendations were based on its 2006 review of 19 studies conducted over 25 years on the use of indoor tanning equipment. The review found evidence of

  • an association between indoor tanning and two types of skin cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma
  • an association between UV-emitting tanning devices and cancer of the eye (ocular melanoma)
  • both UV-A and UV-B rays causing DNA damage, which can lead to skin cancer in laboratory animals and humans
  • the risk of melanoma of the skin increasing by 75 percent when tanning bed use started before age 35

IARC’s review had some limitations, says Ron Kaczmarek, M.D., M.P.H., an FDA epidemiologist who analyzed the review. Limitations include possible inaccuracy of people’s memories of their tanning experiences, not knowing the amount of UV radiation emitted by each tanning device, and the inability to separate the effects of individuals’ indoor and outdoor exposure. Nevertheless, IARC concluded that there is convincing evidence of an association between the use of indoor tanning equipment and melanoma risk, and that the use of tanning beds should be discouraged.

“It’s well established that UV radiation from the sun causes skin cancer,” says Miller. “Since lamps used in tanning beds emit UV radiation, the use of indoor tanning devices also increases your risk of skin cancer.”

Other Risks

In addition to the serious risk of skin cancer, tanning can cause:

  • Premature aging. Tanning causes the skin to lose elasticity and wrinkle prematurely. This leathery look may not show up until many years after you’ve had a tan or sunburn.
  • Immune suppression. UV-B radiation may suppress proper functioning of the body’s immune system and the skin’s natural defenses, leaving you more vulnerable to diseases, including skin cancer.
  • Eye damage. Exposure to UV radiation can cause irreversible damage to the eyes.
  • Allergic reaction. Some people who are especially sensitive to UV radiation may develop an itchy red rash and other adverse effects.

Advocates of tanning devices sometimes argue that using these devices is less dangerous than sun tanning because the intensity of UV radiation and the time spent tanning can be controlled. But there is no evidence to support these claims. In fact, sunlamps may be more dangerous than the sun because they can be used at the same high intensity every day of the year—unlike the sun whose intensity varies with the time of day, the season, and cloud cover.

Tanning in Children and Teens

FDA is particularly concerned about children and teens being exposed to UV rays. Intermittent exposures to intense UV radiation leading to sunburns, especially in childhood and teen years, increase the risk of melanoma, according to NCI.

FDA believes that limiting sun exposure and using sunscreen or sunblock are particularly important for children since these measures can prevent sunburn at a young age.

NCI reports that women who use tanning beds more than once a month are 55 percent more likely to develop melanoma. Teenage girls and young women make up a growing number of tanning bed customers.

“Young people may not think they are vulnerable to skin cancer,” says Kaczmarek. “They have difficulty thinking about their own mortality.” Yet of the more than 68,000 people in the United States who will learn they have melanoma this year, one out of eight will die from it, according to NCI estimates. In addition, the American Academy of Dermatology reports that melanoma is the second most common cancer in women 20 to 29 years old.

Some states are considering laws to ban those under age 18 from using tanning beds. And many states now have laws that require minors to have a parent’s consent or be accompanied by a parent to the tanning facility.

FDA’s current performance standard requires that a sunlamp product’s label include a recommended exposure schedule. FDA has advised manufacturers that this schedule should provide for exposures of no more than three sessions in the first week.

In an NCI-sponsored study published in September 2009 in the Archives of Dermatology, the study researchers hired and trained college students to pose as 15-year-old, fair-skinned girls who had never tanned before. By telephone, the students asked more than 3,600 tanning facilities in all 50 states about their practices.

Less than 11 percent of the facilities followed FDA’s recommended exposure schedule of three or fewer sessions the first week. About 71 percent said they would allow a teen to tan all seven days the first week, and many promoted frequent tanning with “unlimited tanning” discount price packages.

About 87 percent of the facilities required parental consent, leading the researchers to conclude that “many parents are allowing their teens to tan and are providing written consent or accompaniment.”

“Parents should carefully consider the risks before allowing their children under 18 to tan,” says Miller.

FDA Regulation

FDA regulates radiation-emitting products, including sunlamps and products that contain them, such as tanning beds and booths and portable home units. Manufacturers of sunlamps must comply with FDA regulations, including the performance standard for sunlamp products.

In a December 2008 Report to Congress, FDA noted that FDA/NCI studies found that the UV exposures typically provided by sunlamp products are excessive, and that comparable cosmetic effects can be produced with exposures that are only one-third or even one-fourth the levels currently used. FDA is evaluating the results of this research and considering whether those results warrant changes to its performance standard for sunlamp products.

FDA held an advisory committee meeting in March 2010 to seek independent, professional expertise and advice on regulatory issues related to tanning devices. At this public meeting, the agency heard many suggestions from health professionals, scientists, tanning industry representatives, and consumers. Based on the recommendations of the advisory committee and FDA’s own studies, the agency is considering revising some requirements for tanning beds, including strengthening the warning labels to make consumers more aware of the risks.

The Riskiest Practices

FDA, NCI, the American Academy of Dermatology, and other health organizations advise limiting exposure to natural UV radiation from the sun and avoiding artificial UV sources such as tanning beds entirely.

All use of tanning beds increases the risk of skin cancer. Certain practices are especially dangerous. These include:

  • Failing to wear the goggles provided, which can lead to short- and long-term eye injury.
  • Starting with long exposures (close to the maximum time for the particular tanning bed), which can lead to burning. Because sunburn takes 6 to 48 hours to develop, you may not realize your skin is burned until it’s too late.
  • Failing to follow manufacturer-recommended exposure times on the label for your skin type.
  • Tanning while using certain medications or cosmetics that may make you more sensitive to UV rays. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist first.

Source: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/UCM190664.pdf

Wellness Wednesday: Should You Put Sunscreen on Infants? Not Usually

BabyTentYou’re at the beach, slathered in sunscreen. Your five-month-old baby is there, too. Should you put sunscreen on her? Not usually, according to Hari Cheryl Sachs, M.D., a pediatrician at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“The best approach is to keep infants under 6 months out of the sun,” Sachs says, “and to avoid exposure to the sun in the hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when ultraviolet (UV) rays are most intense.”

Sunscreens are recommended for children and adults. What makes babies so different?

“Babies’ skin is less mature compared to adults, and infants have a higher surface-area to body-weight ratio compared to older children and adults.” explains Sachs. “Both these factors mean that an infant’s exposure to the chemicals in sunscreens may be much greater, increasing the risk of side effects from the sunscreen.”

“The best protection is to keep your baby in the shade, if possible,” Sachs says. “If there’s no natural shade, create your own with an umbrella or the canopy of the stroller.”

“If there’s no way to keep an infant out of the sun, you should check with your pediatrician about what to do for your baby.” If your pediatrician agrees, you can apply a small amount of sunscreen—with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15—to small areas such as the cheeks and back of the hands. Sachs suggests testing your baby’s sensitivity to sunscreen by first trying a small amount on the inner wrist.

Cover Up

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests dressing infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn. Tight weaves are better than loose. Keep in mind that while baseball caps are cute, they don’t shade the neck and ears, sensitive areas for a baby.

Summer’s heat presents other challenges for babies.

“Younger infants also don’t sweat like we do,” Sachs says. “Sweat naturally cools the rest of us down when we’re hot, but babies haven’t yet fully developed that built-in heating-and-cooling system. So you want to make sure your baby doesn’t get overheated.”

“In the heat, babies are also at greater risk of becoming dehydrated. To make sure they’re adequately hydrated, offer them their usual feeding of breast milk or formula,” says Sachs. “The water content in both will help keep them well hydrated.

Sun Safety Tips for Infants

SunSafetyInfantsHere are some things to keep in mind this summer when outside with infants:

  • Keep your baby in the shade as much as possible.
  • Consult your pediatrician before using any sunscreen on your baby. If you do use a small amount of sunscreen on your baby, don’t assume the child is well protected.
  • Make sure your child wears clothing that covers and protects sensitive skin. Use common sense; if you hold the fabric against your hand and it’s so sheer that you can see through it, it probably doesn’t offer enough protection.
  • Make sure your baby wears a hat that provides sufficient shade at all times.
  • Watch your baby carefully to make sure he or she doesn’t show warning signs of sunburn or dehydration. These include fussiness, redness and excessive crying.
  • Hydrate! Give your baby formula or breast milk if you’re out in the sun for more than a few minutes. Don’t forget to use a cooler to store the liquids.
  • Take note of how much your baby is urinating. If it’s less than usual, it may be a sign of dehydration, and that more fluids are needed until the flow is back to normal.
  • Avoid combination sunscreens containing insect repellants like DEET. Young children may lick their hands or put them in their mouths. According to the AAP, DEET should not be used on infants less than two months old.
  • If you do notice your baby is becoming sunburned, get out of the sun right away and apply cold compresses to the affected areas.

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/UCM309579.pdf

Wellness Wednesday: What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk of Skin Cancer?

man_gardeningProtection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation is important all year round, not just during the summer or at the beach. UV rays from the sun can reach you on cloudy and hazy days, as well as bright and sunny days. UV rays also reflect off of surfaces like water, cement, sand and snow. Indoor tanning (using a tanning bed, booth or sunlamp to get tan) exposes users to UV radiation.

The hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. are the most hazardous for UV exposure outdoors in the continental United States. UV rays from sunlight are the greatest during the late spring and early summer in North America.

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. Follow these recommendations to help protect yourself and your family.

Shade

You can reduce your risk of skin damage and skin cancer by seeking shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter before you need relief from the sun. Your best bet to protect your skin is to use sunscreen or wear protective clothing when you’re outside—even when you’re in the shade.

Clothing

When possible, long-sleeved shirts and long pants and skirts can provide protection from UV rays. Clothes made from tightly woven fabric offer the best protection. A wet T-shirt offers much less UV protection than a dry one, and darker colors may offer more protection than lighter colors. Some clothing certified under international standards comes with information on its ultraviolet protection factor.

If wearing this type of clothing isn’t practical, at least try to wear a T-shirt or a beach cover-up. Keep in mind that a typical T-shirt has an SPF rating lower than 15, so use other types of protection as well.

Hat

For the most protection, wear a hat with a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck. A tightly woven fabric, such as canvas, works best to protect your skin from UV rays. Avoid straw hats with holes that let sunlight through. A darker hat may offer more UV protection.

If you wear a baseball cap, you should also protect your ears and the back of your neck by wearing clothing that covers those areas, using sunscreen with at least SPF 15, or by staying in the shade.

Sunglasses

Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts. They also protect the tender skin around your eyes from sun exposure.

Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays offer the best protection. Most sunglasses sold in the United States, regardless of cost, meet this standard. Wrap-around sunglasses work best because they block UV rays from sneaking in from the side.

Sunscreen

Mom-sunscreenPut on broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 before you go outside, even on slightly cloudy or cool days. Don’t forget to put a thick layer on all parts of exposed skin. Get help for hard-to-reach places like your back. And remember, sunscreen works best when combined with other options to prevent UV damage.

How sunscreen works. Most sun protection products work by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering sunlight. They contain chemicals that interact with the skin to protect it from UV rays. All products do not have the same ingredients; if your skin reacts badly to one product, try another one or call a doctor.

SPF. Sunscreens are assigned a sun protection factor (SPF) number that rates their effectiveness in blocking UV rays. Higher numbers indicate more protection. You should use a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15.

Reapplication. Sunscreen wears off. Put it on again if you stay out in the sun for more than two hours and after swimming, sweating or toweling off.

Expiration date. Check the sunscreen’s expiration date. Sunscreen without an expiration date has a shelf life of no more than three years, but its shelf life is shorter if it has been exposed to high temperatures.

Cosmetics. Some makeup and lip balms contain some of the same chemicals used in sunscreens. If they do not have at least SPF 15, don’t use them by themselves.

More information:

Sunscreen: The Burning Facts
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

FDA Sheds Light on Sunscreens
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Protecting Yourself from Sun Exposure
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Tuesday Tip: Keeping Safe in Extreme Heat

exheatThe Summer months are upon us and the temperature can reach dangerous levels. Here are some tips on how to stay safe in the sweltering heat.

  • Drink plenty of fluids regularly and often. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Your body needs water to keep cool. Water is the safest liquid to drink during heat emergencies. Drink at least two glasses (8-16 ounces each) of cool fluids each hour. Don’t drink alcohol or sugary beverages —these can cause you to lose more body fluid. Injury and death can occur from dehydration, which can happen quickly and be unnoticed until too late.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully. Try to limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities. Get plenty of rest to allow your natural “cooling system” to work. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the early morning.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing that will cover as much skin as possible. Put on sunscreen rated SPF 15 or higher with UVA/UVB protection 30 minutes before going outside. Protect your face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Replace salt and minerals. Heavy sweating removes the salt and minerals that are necessary for your body. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach more than 140°F (60°C) within minutes. Even with the windows cracked open, car interior temperatures can rise 20 degrees within the first 10 minutes. Exposure to such high temperatures can kill in minutes. When traveling with children, follow these rules:
    • To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front with the driver.
    • When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.
  • Stay cool indoors. If your home doesn’t have air conditioning, go to the mall or library. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are heat-relief shelters in your area. Take a cool shower or bath.
  • Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering stress from the heat. Make sure they are indoors or in the shade. Provide plenty of water for drinking as well as for cooling the animals.
  • Monitor those at high risk. Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others.
    • Infants and young children are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to keep them cool and provide adequate liquids.
    • People 65 years of age or older are less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature.
    • Overweight people may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat.
    • People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.