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Picnics, parades and festivals: TDH caution during extreme heat and stay safe in the sun

By Tamas Mondovics

Editor

Picnics, parades, and festivals are a common denominator in the nation’s summer months.

With outdoor activities, however, comes the need to be cautious.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, extreme heat continues to impact the state and is urging Tennesseans to follow important safety tips to avoid heat-related illnesses.

‘’Summer is usually a great time to be outdoors, and it is important to be careful when you’re out in the sun, especially in recent high temperatures occurring across the state,’’ said Tennessee Health Commissioner Morgan McDonald, MD, FACP, FAAP.‘’

To avoid heat-related illness, it’s important to drink plenty of water and avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day.’’

In a release, the agency emphasized that heat-related illness includes heat exhaustion which causes heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, weakness, and nausea or vomiting.

The most serious heat-related illness is heat stroke.

Heat stroke symptoms include red, dry skin, rapid pulse, dizziness, nausea, and confusion.

Steps to avoid heat-related illness include :

• Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water

• Avoiding alcohol and carbonated drinks

• Taking plenty of breaks

• Moving to a cool place

• Wearing light, loose-fitting clothing

• Using sunscreen

• Seeking medical attention if experiencing symptoms

Look Before You Lock

Child safety is another concern with hot weather. Do not leave a child in a hot car where they can quickly become overheated, risking serious injury or death. As a reminder :

• Always double-check the backseat every time when leaving your vehicle.

• Consider placing a stuffed animal or toy up front as a reminder, or place your purse or other items you would pick up in the backseat with your child.

Sporting Activities/Summer Camps

Athletic and other camps are an exciting part of summer, and it is important to take steps to keep campers and staff safe.

• Drink plenty of water

• Use sunscreen

• Wear light, loose-fitting clothing

• Schedule outdoor activities carefully to avoid being in the sun during the hottest part of the day.

710 James Robertson Parkway • Andrew Johnson Tower, 5th Floor

Nashville, TN 37243 • Tel: 615-741-3111 • tn.gov/health

• Camp staff should look for signs of heat-related illness and make sure participants are taking appropriate precautions

For more heat safety tips, go to https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html.