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Extreme Heat and your Health

The CDC highlights the following groups as at risk:

  • Children

  • Individuals 65+

  • Pregnant women

  • Individuals with chronic conditions

  • Low socioeconomic status

  • Homeless populations

  • Urban residents

  • Outdoor workers

  • Athletes

The Problem

Climate change is increasing the average daily temperature and number of extreme heat days, which can cause heat-related illnesses or exacerbate chronic conditions. About 210 million Americans live in counties that are vulnerable to extreme heat, particularly during the summer.

If carbon emissions continue at the current rate, the U.S. could see a 5-10°F increase in temperature by the end of the century.


Cities and industrial areas experience urban heat island effects where buildings absorb and store more heat especially when there aren’t trees and other green spaces which can have a cooling effect. 





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What can you do to avoid heat related illness?

  • Get linked to your community’s alerts during heat waves.

  • Maintain hydration, wear cool and loose clothing, and avoid strenuous activity when possible.

  • In your communities, it’s important to increase education about the risks of heat and talk to your doctor if you have chronic conditions or medications that may be impacted by high temperatures.

  • If you don’t have access to air conditioning, find out about possible community cooling centers.





3. Kuehn, L., & McCormick, S. (2017). Heat Exposure and Maternal Health in the Face of Climate Change. International journal of environmental research and public health, 14(8), 853.

4. Madrigano, J., Lane, K., Petrovic, N., Ahmed, M., Blum, M., & Matte, T. (2018). Awareness, Risk Perception, and Protective Behaviors for Extreme Heat and Climate Change in New York City. International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(7), 1433.

5. Lundgren, K., Kuklane, K., Gao, C. & Holmér, I. (2013). Effects of Heat Stress on Working Populations Facing Climate Change. Industrial Health, 51, 2-15. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.2012-0089

6. Morrison, S. A., Périard, J. D., De Boever, P., & Daanen, H. (2021). Editorial: The Effects of Climate Change and Environmental Factors on Exercising Children and Youth. Frontiers in sports and active living, 3, 690171.

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