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Consumer Reports: Staying healthy in the heat

Posted at 7:14 AM, Aug 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-16 08:14:04-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/CONSUMER REPORTS) — We've had some intense heat and humidity most of the summer and weather like that, if you're not careful, can be dangerous.

In the midst of the dog days of summer, and with heat waves becoming more frequent and intense over the years, it’s important to protect yourself.

"Heat-related illnesses, especially heat stroke, can be dangerous, so everyone should take the proper precautions when it’s hot out," said Catherine Roberts with Consumer Reports.

Recognizing the early signs of a heat stroke in yourself or someone else can be life-saving.

"A heat stroke can be fatal, so it’s really important to know its early signs, which include confusion, dizziness, weakness, agitation, slurred speech, and nausea and vomiting. It can also cause you to pass out," Roberts said.

If you suspect a heat stroke in yourself or someone else, call 911 and quickly get yourself or them into an air-conditioned room or cool shower or bath.

To help prevent yourself from ever getting into a dangerous situation like that, here are some tips.

Before you head outside, think about what you’re wearing — choose loose-fitting, light-colored clothes, which can help keep you cooler, and don’t forget a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.

Once dressed, put sunscreen on all exposed skin.

"Not only do sunburns hurt, they can also raise your risk of skin cancer and heat-related illness," Roberts said.

A top-tested sunscreen that’s also a Consumer Reports best buy: Equate Ultra Lotion SPF 50 sold at Walmart.

It's also important to stay hydrated. Try filling up a pitcher or a large water bottle with ice and water, and aim to finish it by the end of the day.

Consumer Reports tried out the Hydro Flask Wide Mouth with Straw Lid and found it to be a good everyday bottle, easy to use and drink from while keeping the water cold.

To cool off all over, drink that water inside an air-conditioned room, especially during the hottest parts of the day, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

When it comes to sunscreen, remember to apply it 15 to 30 minutes before you go outside and reapply it every 2 hours or after you swim or sweat.