12 Heat Safety Tips for the Summer

Protect friends and loved ones by knowing the signs of heat overexposure.

May 31, 2011, 1:12 PM

May 31, 2011— -- Scorching temperatures in many areas over Memorial Day weekend sent several people to emergency rooms for heat overexposure. Baltimore; Laredo, Texas; Lousiville, Ky.; and and Raleigh, N.C., all tied record high temperatures Monday, and more heat is on the way.

Air conditioning and portable air conditioners can get expensive, so what are things you can do to avoid the heat? Can you recognize the signs of heat exhaustion? And would you know what to do if someone started to show symptoms of it?

"The hottest part of the country will be the mid-Atlantic, or the corridor from Philadelphia to South Carolina," Tom Kines, senior meteorologist at Accuweather, told ABC News. "Temperatures will be in the mid to upper 90s, and could reach 100 degrees in some areas."

In Washington, D.C., Monday, 20 people were taken to hospitals for heat-related emergencies during the Washington Memorial Day parade and the National's baseball game, D.C. fire officilas told ABC Washington affiliate WJLA.

Many residents blamed the humidity, which can inhibit the body's ability to cool itself through sweating. "It's a lot of moisture -- you take a shower and get out and you feel like you need another shower because it is brutal," Linda Merriweather, a Maryland resident, told WJLA.

As temperatures rise this summer, Dr. William P. Bozeman, an associate professor of emergency medicine and emergency services director at Wake Forest University, shared some tips with ABC News that will help you keep cool, recognize the signs of heat overexposure and the steps to take if you experience those symptoms or see them in someone else. The Federal Emergency Management Agency also has a list of protective and first aid measures for heat-induced illnesses.

"Amazingly, the human race survived for several million years prior to the advent of air conditioning," Bozeman told ABC News.

He cautions that it is important to be aware of the temperature. Temperatures in the 90s and higher are dangerous, and become more dangerous the higher they go and the longer they last. The very young and the very old are at the highest risk, as their weight and age can impair their ability to handle high temperatures.

12 Tips for Staying Cool This Summer

8 Signs of Heat Oveexposure

6 First Steps to take After Recognizing Heat-Induced Illness

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