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Heat and People with Chronic Medical Conditions

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Extreme heat can be dangerous for anyone, but it can be especially dangerous for those with chronic medical conditions. If you or someone you know has a chronic medical condition, follow the information below to help keep you, or the person in your care, safe.

CARETAKER CHECKLIST

Keep a close eye on those in your care by visiting them at least twice a day, and ask yourself these questions:

  • Are they drinking enough water?
  • Do they have access to air conditioning?
  • Do they know how to keep cool?
  • Do they show any signs of heat stress?

Why are people with chronic medical conditions more vulnerable to extreme heat?

  • They may be less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature.
  • They may be taking medications that can make the effect of extreme heat worse.
  • Conditions like heart disease, mental illness, poor blood circulation, and obesity* are risk factors for heat-related illness.
    • Individuals who are overweight or obese tend to retain more body heat.

Stay safe during extreme heat

  • Follow tips on how to prevent heat-related illness.
  • Keep in mind that heavy sweating can remove salt and minerals from your body. Talk to your doctor about how to safely replace salt and minerals lost through sweating.
  • Do not engage in very strenuous activities and get plenty of rest.
  • Check on a friend or neighbor, and have someone do the same for you.
  • Check the local news for health and safety updates regularly.

Learn how to spot heat-related illness

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