Health experts offer tips to beat the heat of the Montana summer

Posted at 4:05 PM, Jul 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-09 18:05:31-04

HELENA – After a chilly spring, the heat is on — and when the temperatures drastically change from cool to hot pose elevated risks for heat-related illness.

The good news is, illnesses like heat exhaustion, dehydration, and heat stroke are all preventable if you take the right steps to protect yourself.

When the mercury rises, the best thing to do is stay inside in an air-conditioned place. But if you must be outside, slather on the sunscreen and wear a hat to protect yourself from sunburn.

“When you get sunburned, your body has to work harder to regulate its temperature,” said Gayle Shirley of Lewis and Clark County Public Health.

While Montana isn’t the first place that comes to mind when listing sunny destinations, the risk of sunburn here is high due to its high elevation and clear summer skies.

Also, staying hydrated is important. While a nice cold glass of lemonade or an alcoholic beverage may feel refreshing, sugary, caffeinated, or alcoholic beverages actually further dehydrate you. If you’re outside for prolonged periods of time, make sure you include plain water.

Shirley also said to never leave pets or young children in the car- even for just a few minutes. Temperatures can quickly reach fatal temperatures inside a vehicle.