Staying Safe in the Heat

Summer is well underway, and parts of the U.S. are experiencing extreme temperatures and high heat index warnings. While these conditions can pose a threat to anyone, they especially put our loved ones with PWS at risk for heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Due to the dysfunction of the hypothalamus, Individuals with PWS struggle to regulate their body temperature. We must use serious caution with our loved ones in the heat, especially in the potentially dangerous conditions that parts of the country have been experiencing.

Here are several ways to keep your loved one safe:

  1. *Plan activities for early morning or evening when it’s cooler
  3. *Use hats, umbrellas, and portable fans
  5. *Always wear sunscreen
  7. *Keep frozen water bottles handy
  9. *Stay hydrated
  11. *Let the car cool down before getting in
  13. *Wear light, loose-fitting clothing
  15. *Take frequent breaks
  17. *Find cool places to rest
  19. *Use cooling vests, towels, and gel pads

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion:

Heat exhaustion is serious and often presents with heavy sweating, rapid pulse, dizziness, fatigue, cool and moist skin with goosebumps, muscle cramps, nausea, and headache. These symptoms might be less apparent in those with PWS, so watch for red cheeks, exhaustion, and fatigue. Rapidly cool an overheated person by moving them to a cool area, removing most clothing, and using wet towels on key areas like the neck, underarms, and groin. Ensure they sip the coldest beverage available for maximum hydration. Heat stroke is an emergency, marked by stopped sweating and possible confusion or collapse—call 911 immediately and continue all cooling efforts. Stay vigilant and keep your loved ones safe in the heat.

Stay Hydrated:

Keeping our loved ones hydrated can also be a challenge, one with detrimental effects. If fluid intake is an issue, consider a drink schedule. Would your loved one be more motivated to drink water if they had to finish a glass before their meal? Many people with PWS are more likely to drink water if there is a bit of flavoring. Avoid sugary juices and sweeteners and opt for squeezes of lemon or lime. Cucumber slices and mint leaves also add a nice flavor, along with the benefits of being hydrating as well.

If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Family Support Team at (941) 312-0400 or email

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