Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable. Despite this fact, extreme heat kills approximately 1,220 people in the United States every year. Heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion or heat stroke, happen when the body is not able to properly cool itself. While the body normally cools itself by sweating, during extreme heat, this might not be enough. In these cases, a person’s body temperature rises faster than it can cool itself down. This can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs. Older adults, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk. However, even young and healthy people can be affected if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather.
Obtain a fundamental understanding of heat risk and heat-related illness
Become familiar with methods of prevention and care
Learn the effects of excessive heat on children and the elderly
Know the risks of excessive heat for people with disabilities
Gain awareness of adverse heat effects on mental health
Understand the situations and needs of other high-risk groups