sweaty man outside

Welcome to summer! In many parts of the world it’s downright HOT right now and heat safety couldn’t be more important. With heat safety (like so many other health topics), it’s important to know fact from fiction.

Myth #1: Cooling fans work as well as air-conditioning.

Fact: Not So! When temperatures rise into the 90’s, fans are less effective than air-conditioning in preventing heat-related illness. In some situations, fans can actually make a room hotter by blowing around the hot air. Air-conditioning is the preferred way to stay cool in the heat. If you don’t have air-conditioning make sure you visit a friend or family member, go to a public place (mall, library, etc.) or contact your local health department to locate an air-conditioned shelter.

Myth #2: I should drink as much water as I possibly can during the heat.

Fact: Let’s break this down a little bit. YES- you should drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and you should start hydrating BEFORE you feel thirsty. BUT, there can be too much of a good thing. Check with your doctor to see how much fluid is ok for you to drink. This is important because some people (with liver, kidney or lung problems for example) have restrictions on the amount of fluid that is safe to ingest. Furthermore, it is possible to develop toxicity from drinking too much water- so once again, check with your doc. Also, avoid alcohol as this can make dehydration worse.

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