Protect Yourself From the Heat

Six steps to help you keep cool and hydrated all summer

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Older adults are among those most at risk for heat-related illness. That’s in part because with age, you’re more likely to have a condition or take medication that increases your vulnerability to heat. But heat-related illness can be dangerous for anyone.

more on hot weather safety

With extreme heat events becoming more common in the U.S., it’s key to take precautions against heat-related illness, such as heatstroke. Experts at CR—including Chris Regan, CR’s senior test engineer for air conditioners; Sue Booth, who leads or sunscreen testing; and Amy Keating, a nutritionist and food testing leader—and public health professionals have tips to help protect you.

Know the Signs of Heat Illness

Heatstroke, which occurs at a body temperature over 104° F, is a medical emergency that may be fatal in more than half of the cases in older adults. Early signs include confusion, dizziness, weakness, agitation, slurred speech, nausea, and vomiting, plus the inability to sweat. If you suspect it in yourself or a friend, call 911, and quickly get yourself or them into an air-conditioned room or a cool shower or bath.

To see our tips on staying safe in the heat, click or hover your cursor over (or tap, on mobile) the circles in each area of the illustration below.

Click on black dots to learn more.

Illustration: Chris Philpot

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the July 2022 issue of Consumer Reports On Health.

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