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Top Ways to Avoid Heat-Related Illness this Summer

Tuesday, June 04, 2024

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) data show from 2013 to 2022, there were 141 heat-related deaths in Oklahoma, with more than 85% occurring from June to August.

However, heat can be impactful any time of year, especially if the temperature outside is nearing 90°F.

Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable, so it is important to keep safe while enjoying the outdoors.

Stay Cool:

  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing to allow your body to breathe and regulate its temperature.
  • Plan outdoor activities during the cooler parts of the day, such as morning or evening.
  • Pace yourself outdoors, especially if you're not used to working or exercising in the heat.
  • Listen to your body; if you start feeling lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint, take a break in a cool or shaded area, resting until you feel better.

Stay Hydrated:

  • Drink plenty of fluids and try to avoid sugary or alcoholic drinks, as these can contribute to dehydration.
  • Drink cool or room temperature beverages; very cold drinks can cause stomach cramps.
  • Replenish salt and minerals lost from your body after prolonged or heavy sweating.

Stay Informed:

The impact of heat can vary depending on the person and other personal health factors. For example, individuals with a heart condition are more susceptible to heat illness than individuals who don’t have a heart condition.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) protects and improves public health through its system of local health services and strategies focused on preventing disease. OSDH provides technical support and guidance to 68 county health departments in Oklahoma, as well as guidance and consultation to the two independent city-county health departments in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Learn more at