Thermometer in front of bright sun shows high temperatures.

Beat the Heat: 7 Tips for Staying Cool

Protect yourself, your children and your pets as temperatures rise across North Carolina.

Protect yourself, your children and your pets as temperatures rise across North Carolina.

If you're out in the heat too long, it can lead to dehydration, overheating, heat illness and even death.

Reduce your risk with these tips:

  1. Increase your fluid intake.  
  2. Take frequent breaks in cool and shady or air-conditioned spaces.
  3. Reduce your normal activity levels
  4. Talk to a healthcare provider if you take medicines that make you more vulnerable to heat. These medicines include tranquilizers or drugs for:
    • High blood pressure
    • Migraines
    • Allergies
    • Muscle spasms
    • Mental illness
  5. Check on neighbors. If you're working outdoors, check on your co-workers. 
  6. Never leave children or pets unattended in vehicles, even for a few minutes. Temperatures inside a car can quickly reach a deadly level. Each year in the U.S., around 38 children ages 14 and younger die from heatstroke after being left in a vehicle.
  7. Pay attention to the weather forecast. This is especially important if you plan to work outside or take part in outdoor activities.

Signs of Heat-Related Illness and What to Do

Stay wary of signs of heat-related illness:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

People who are most vulnerable include:

  • Children
  • Adults ages 65 and older
  • People without access to air conditioning
  • Outdoor workers
  • People chronic health conditions

If you or someone you know experiences heat-related illness:

  • Move to a cool place
  • Drink water
  • Place cold cloths on the body
  • Seek medical attention

This Summer in North Carolina

As of June 17, 2023, there were already 361 emergency department visits for heat-related illness. These visits often increase with spikes in the heat index.

Most of these visits were in the Piedmont and Coastal regions. Many of the patients were men, ages 25 to 44, according to the North Carolina Heat Report.

Weekly North Carolina Heat Report

Cooling Assistance for Eligible North Carolinians

Are you experiencing a cooling-related crisis? You may be eligible for cooling assistance:



Related Press Release: NCDHHS Advises Caution During Hot Summer Months to Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses

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