7 Heat Safety Tips for Your Summer Vacation

Summer is in full-swing, and the east coast is sweltering as usual. The desert resort areas of Arizona, Las Vegas and Palm Springs have heated up, too. Since the kids are out of school, summer is the only time many of you can take your family vacation, regardless of the sizzling weather forecast. So aren't you glad you're renting a timeshare at a resort? You'll have wonderful air conditioning through spacious rooms, cooling breezes off the balcony, big swimming pools, and even a kitchen with a refrigerator for chilling water and drinks!

And for the safety of all of you who really have no alternative but to take your timeshare vacation trip in the heat of the summer, the American Red Cross offers these tips for heat safety:
  1. Listen to the weather forecasts and be aware of upcoming temperature changes. Understand what is meant by "Heat Index." As important a term as "wind chill" is in the winter, the stated Heat Index combines temperature and humidity, and lets you know what temperature your body is actually feeling, regardless of the ambient temperature. Exposure to direct sunlight can increase the Heat Index by as much as 15 degrees F.

  2. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids all day long, even if you do not feel thirsty. This is of paramount importance for your children. If you know you'll be spending a lot of time at a theme park standing in line in the sun, go prepared with plenty of water for everyone in your party. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol, as both just add to your dehydration problems.

  3. Eat small meals, and eat more often. This allows the body to use less energy in digestion, which in turn prevents the body's core temperature from increasing during the work of digestion.

  4. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing. You will want to stay away from dark colors which absorb the sun's rays. Light-colored clothing helps reflect the sun's heat.

  5. Know the signs of danger: Heat Cramps are muscular pains and spasms in the legs or abdomen, and are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat. Signs of Heat Exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; and weakness. Signs of Heat Stroke include hot, red skin, unconsciousness and vomiting.

  6. What to do: Move the person to a cooler place; apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin; fan the person; if the person is conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink and make sure the person drinks slowly.

  7. If the person shows signs of nausea and vomiting, or loses consciousness, call 911 immediately.
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