Summer can be a fun time with vacations, picnics and other enjoyable activities, but the hot weather poses many potential health risks such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Each year in the United States, an average of about 700 people die from heat-related causes, 9,200 people are hospitalized due to heat, and emergency departments receive nearly 68,000 heat-related visits.
Among conditions associated with hot weather are cardiovascular and respiratory complications, renal failure, electrolyte imbalance, kidney stones, negative impacts on fetal health, and preterm birth. Deaths result from heat stroke and related conditions, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and cerebrovascular disease.
- General Tips
- Additional Information
- Tips for Workers and those who must be outdoors
- OSHA Quick Card for Workers
- Food Safety during Power Outages: When to Save It and When to Throw It Out
- Food Safety during Power Outages (CDC)
The CDC’s Heat & Health Tracker can be used to explore county-level heat wave forecasts and track weekly cases of heat-related illness across the country.
Watch for Air Quality Alerts during the summer. These will be displayed on highway signs and by MORPC, who monitors the air quality index. An Air Quality Alert will likely be issued on hot and humid days. These alerts mean that the pollution in the air make it more difficult for older adults, young children and those who suffer from heart disease and respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema to breathe.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness
Illnesses associated with heat include:
- Heat stroke
- Heat exhaustion
- Heat cramps
- Heat Rash
- Rapid heartbeat
- Absence of perspiration
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a complete list of warning signs and what to do for heat-related illnesses.
Read more information on heat safety for the most current up-to-date information from the CDC.