National Heat Awareness Day
National Heat Awareness Day is observed next on Friday, May 31st, 2024 (92 days from today).
National Heat Awareness Day was created to encourage employers and workers to recognize the warning signs for heat illness and keep workers safe on the last Friday in May.
National Heat Awareness Day is an important effort of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Weather Service to warn workers, employers, and the general public about the (preventable) health hazards associated with heat, in order to reduce the overall morbidity and mortality associated with it. This day was established specifically as a reminder that many people who labor or work outdoors are at risk of serious heat-related conditions such as heat exhaustion, dehydration, heatstroke and even heat stroke. We bring you tips on how spreading awareness about these conditions and preventing them can help reduce such unnecessary medical emergencies.
History of National Heat Awareness Day
National Heat Awareness Day was created by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Weather Service which was an agency of the United States Federal Government. Although there is no record of when it was first celebrated, the significance of this date and its significance is why we include it.
The reality is that every year, in the United States alone, people contract and dies from heat-related illnesses that could be easily prevented with the right interventions and protections. The groups that are particularly vulnerable to heat damage are outdoor workers (such as farmers and manual workers), young children, the elderly, people with chronic diseases, and pregnant women. Heat waves, which have increased over the past few decades, are clearly correlated with climate change and the global warming crisis. In the United States itself, recent history shows a shocking death toll from heat waves. While various measures are being taken to adapt to rising temperatures and humidity, awareness is needed to minimize damage.
So this day was created to spread awareness to overcome the problems related to high temperature. This day is also observed to encourage water consumption to avoid heat related illnesses. Americans still seem to underestimate the health risks associated with extreme heat or heat conditions, even if it's the deadliest weather conditions in the country. With factors like pollution causing temperatures to rise earlier each year, the onslaught of summer heat is coming faster each year. For this reason, it is imperative that the nation as a whole begin to sit up and pay attention to the fact that there are many groups that need to be protected from an unexpected killer.
Some useful tips to protect us from the heat in the summer
- Keep enough water
The varied benefits of drinking enough water and fluids can't be overwhelming enough.
- Keep your fashion light and cool
Wear loose and light clothing, made of breathable fabrics such as cotton.
- Apply sunscreen
The importance of sunscreen as protection from the sun will never get old.
- Avoid going outdoors during peak times
Avoid sun exposure during peak hours, especially without protection.
- Limit your activity
Get away from intense workouts early in the morning or evening, and relax in the midday heat.
Some reasons for National Heat Awareness Day being important
- The hobby of protecting the vulnerable
Several years ago, OSHA started the Heat Disease Prevention Campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of working in extreme heat. Their change requests can be aggregated into three simple requests for workers - shade, rest, and water. Employers must ensure that their workers are receiving these basic requirements and are protected from extreme temperatures and other hazardous conditions.
- It educates us about prevention methods
By reinforcing such basic precautions, National Heat Awareness Day brings the realities of the things we take for granted (like water) to the forefront and makes us more concerned about our own health.
- It resonates with people everywhere
Heat waves and heat-related health problems are on the rise worldwide, due to climate change. Therefore, the message of National Heat Awareness Day relates to all people from the world, especially the many countries that do not even have access to resources such as drinking water and electricity. It opens people up to the larger realities of social injustice and climate change.
How to celebrate National Heat Awareness Day
- Chug, chug, chug that H2O
Dehydration is one of those preventable things that, if ignored, can lead to more serious health problems. So, experts everywhere recommend that eight glasses of water a day is a good standard to maintain. Water not only helps keep your body hydrated, but it also helps flush out toxins from the body.
- Committed to Protecting Vulnerable People
Numerous online campaigns and grassroots petitions have been signed in support of outdoor workers' need for proper legislation to protect them from the heat and other hazards associated with it regarding the health of the working environment. Read on and participate, because every voice matters!
- Get the word out
With powerful tools like social media at our disposal, we are able to bring together our communities (both virtual and real) to spread awareness of the very real risks of related medical conditions Heat can affect anyone at any time. Train yourself and your acquaintances to recognize the signs and take action - a little bit can go a long way.
ObservedNational Heat Awareness Day has been observed the last Friday in May.
Friday, May 27th, 2022
Friday, May 26th, 2023
Friday, May 31st, 2024
Friday, May 30th, 2025
Friday, May 29th, 2026