Heat safety tips

Kids and adults looking for a fun way to cool off this weekend can always make a trip to the splash park in Cornelia named in honor of longtime city commissioner Margaret Ballard. (NowHabersham.com)

It’s that time of year again when the weather heats up, and the heat waves start coming through. With the first major heatwave of the year arriving this weekend, it’s a great time to review some heat safety tips. You don’t need someone to tell you the best idea is to avoid being outside during the peak heating hours of the day: 12-6 PM. That isn’t possible in many cases, so here are some things to keep in mind. 

The most important thing is to stay hydrated. Lack of hydration combined with excessive exertion can quickly result in heat exhaustion or stroke. Heat is the #1 cause of weather-related death most years, only eclipsed by tornadoes, hurricanes, or flooding in particularly bad years. Around 700-1300 people die every year from easily preventable heat stroke. The infographic below highlights the signs of both exhaustion and stroke.

You can avoid having to worry about this at all by following some best safety practices. Things like wearing loose-fitting and light clothing, wearing hats to cover your face, and avoiding high-energy tasks during the hottest hours can all help you stay safe.

Another incredibly important thing to remember is to NEVER, EVER leave children or pets in a closed car. The glass traps heat and death can occur quickly in these situations, leaving you with a dead child or pet and even legal charges and jail time.

And don’t forget about your pets outside as well. Be sure to provide them with plenty of shade and water. Also, don’t try to walk them during the hot parts of the day as the concrete and asphalt get very hot very quickly.

Be safe this holiday weekend!


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