When the weather heats up, know how to stay safe.
When outside temperatures are very high, the danger for heat-related illness rises. Older adults, young children, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at particularly high risk.
The following tips will help you and your family stay safe:
- Spend more time in air conditioned places. If you don't have air conditioning, consider visiting a mall, movie theater or library. You can also visit any of the cooling centers listed at the bottom of this page.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun.
- Dress in lightweight clothing.
- Check on your elderly neighbors and relatives, and encourage them to keep cool and hydrated.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol and lots of sugar—they actually dehydrate you.
- Keep water with you whenever possible, and sip or drink frequently.
- Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink.
If you go outside:
- Limit the time you're in direct sunlight.
- Do not leave infants, children, people with mobility challenges and pets in a parked car.
- Limit activities that are tiring, or that take a lot of energy.
- Do outdoor activities in the cooler morning and evening hours.
- Avoid sunburn. Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.
Water safetySome people turn to local rivers to cool off, but drowning is a real concern. Use caution and wear a lifejacket on the water. If you want to swim, choose a safer location—visit a local pool or beach with a lifeguard on duty. Learn more about staying safe outdoors on our Injury Prevention pages.
- Pierce County Library (find locations and hours).
- Tacoma Public Libraries (find locations and hours).
- Hot Weather Safety—Get even more tips from the Washington State Department of Health.