Staying safe to beat the summer heat

The heatwave is going to be with us for several days.

After an unusually cool start to the summer season, a late-summer heatwave is moving through the Heartland.

According to weather forecasts, the hot and dry weather will persist through the next seven days as highs will reach the upper 90s with heat indices peaking to near 100.

This prolonged warm weather will lead to potentially dangerous heat conditions, which means you will need to take some precautions.

To avoid heat disorders or heat stroke, you can help yourself and others by following safety rules like staying out of the heat during the hottest hours of the day, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., reducing, eliminating or rescheduling strenuous activities such as running, biking and yard work when it is so terribly hot. The best times for such activities are during the early morning and late-evening hours.

Stay indoors as much as possible in an air-conditioned space. The experts say just two hours a day in the AC can significantly reduce the risk of heat-related illness.

Drink plenty of water even if you don't feel thirsty to keep you hydrated throughout the day. Avoid alcoholic beverages and beverages with caffeine. They actually cause body dehydration.

Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. It helps reflect sunlight and helps maintain normal body temperature. Don't forget as well to use a sunscreen with a high SPF to help prevent sunburn if you do need to go out.

During this summer heat, it is very important to check on your kids, the elderly and pets.

Do not leave children or pets in a closed vehicle. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach 140°F-190°F degrees within 30 minutes on a hot, sunny day.