TALLAHASSEE—Summer has arrived and brought its customary heat and humidity back to Florida. As temperatures climb the Florida Department of Health encourages safe habits to prevent against heat-related illness.

“As the Sunshine State, Florida is blessed with warm weather,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “Drinking water throughout the day is an important habit to stay refreshed and avoid heat injury.”

Hot weather places extra stress on the body by elevating core body temperature, especially during exercise. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heatstroke and exercise associated collapse are all outcomes that may occur due to overheating. Elderly people are more likely to suffer from heat stress than others, but heat-related illnesses can affect anyone subjected to high temperatures for an extended period of time.

Know the warning signs of heat-related illness:

  • Extremely high body temperature (above 103°F);
  • Weakness, dizziness or fainting;
  • Unusually elevated heart rate;
  • Fast and shallow breathing;
  • Nausea or vomiting; and
  • Muscle cramps.

Protect yourself with these helpful tips:

  • Stay hydrated with water; avoid sugary and alcoholic beverages;
  • Wear lightweight, light colored and loose fitting clothing;
  • Stay cool in an air conditioned area;
  • Avoid engaging in strenuous activities during peak hours; and
  • Take a cool shower or bath.

For more information on extreme heat and heat-related illness prevention visit

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