Summer has officially arrived, which means the days are longer and the temperatures are rising. Outdoor activity can be beneficial for body, mind and spirit, but exerting too much energy in extreme heat can be harmful.

The American Red Cross has a few tips for staying safe in the heat this summer. Being knowledgeable on the topic might be useful for the future.

Hydration

Your body needs water, fluids and electrolytes to function year round, but it’s especially important in the summer. When you’re active outside on a hot day, you’ll probably sweat. It’s essential that you replenish your body with the fluids you’ve lost. You should also avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol, as they can further dehydrate your body.

Knowing About Heat-Related Illness

If you’re feeling dizzy, tired, nauseous, confused or have dark-colored urine, it could be a sign that you’re dehydrated. You should drink water, coconut water, or a sports drink and relax in a cool area. If symptoms are severe, you may need to seek medical attention. A person having a heat stroke could have a body temperature above 104 degrees, rapid heartbeat, or even be unconscious. Cooling their body down before help arrives could save their life.

Timing is Everything

Try to plan activities in the early morning or evening on hot days. By postponing outdoor games and activities until the sun isn’t at its peak and the temperature is lower, you’ll be saving your body from the hottest part of the day. If you must be outside, take frequent breaks when working indoors.

Clothing

It’s best to wear breathable, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing on hot days. You should also avoid wearing dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays. To protect your skin from damage, wear sunscreen or stay in the shade.

Look Out for Others

During especially hot days, you should check on family, friends and neighbors who live without air conditioning or who spend more time alone. Encourage them to go to schools, libraries, theaters, malls, or other public places for relief from the heat.

If you have animals, it’s important to limit their time outdoors on hot days. You should check the sidewalk temperature before walking your pets because their paws could be damaged by extremely hot surfaces. Also, never leave them in a vehicle because the internal temperature can quickly rise to over 120 degrees.