SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Shreveport Fire Department encourages residents to stay cool and safe during the extreme heat of summer with these tips.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 700 people in the United States die yearly from extreme heat. Heat-related deaths are preventable by taking a few safety measures and listening to your body while working or playing during the hot summer months.

The high temperatures and humidity that the ArkLaTex is experiencing raise the risk of heat-related illness and injury. Heat-related illness is avoidable if you adopt these simple measures.

  • Drink more water than usual,, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Muscle cramping may be an early sign of heat-related illness.
  • Stay indoors in an air-conditioned building as much as possible; use community centers or cooling centers during the day.
  • Limit outdoor activities, especially when the sun is hottest during midday hours.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Never leave children or pets in cars; always check the back seat before you get out.
  • Avoid hot and heavy meals.
  • Check on friends and neighbors, especially those more vulnerable or at higher risk of heat-related illness.

Summertime also means swim time, and while pools and lakes can be a great way to keep yourself cool on a hot day, they can also present a danger to small children and those who can not swim or are not strong swimmers.

Whether you head to the beach or take a dip in a community pool, ensure the safety of loved ones by following these tips.

  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards, and always swim with a buddy – never alone.
  • Pay close attention to children even when a lifeguard is present and avoid distractions such as cell phones.
  • Never leave young children unattended near water.
  • Young children and inexperienced swimmers should use U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water.
  • Keep young or inexperienced swimmers within arm’s reach of an experienced adult swimmer.

SPAR provides swimming lessons; you can learn more about any fees or pool schedules here.