Health Watch — July 4: Coping With Heat

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

It’s the time of year when we celebrate our nation’s independence. That usually means cookouts, parades and fireworks — all in summer’s heat. This week on Health Watch, we’ll offer some tips on enjoying the holiday and the season without harming your health.

In most parts of the country, July 4 is likely to be a hot day, so many of the activities we enjoy take place outdoors. Dr. Paul Pepe, chairman of emergency medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says people who are used to being indoors with air conditioning may have problems if they try to do too much in the heat. He suggests wearing loose, light-colored clothing and drinking plenty of water. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks can actually make matters worse, so avoid them in the heat. Use common sense and rest or go to a cool place if you start feeling shaky or nauseated.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in emergency care.


June 2008

Health Watch is heard Monday through Friday nationwide on ABC Satellite Radio. Call your local radio station and ask if they carry the program.