Be careful out there, it’s a hot one! Whether you’re a local who needs to get into some air conditioning or you’re visiting from out of town and wondering why so many places lack air conditioning, we have some tips on how to stay safe during this heat wave.

Staying in a climate-controlled space may be your best bet for safety in this heat, especially if your home does not have air conditioning. Westfield Southcenter Mall is air-conditioned and is a designated cooling space during operating hours. Plus, there’s lots of fun shopping, places to eat, and things to do in the mall to keep you entertained. Most libraries in the King County Library System are air-conditioned and available as cooling centers, if you’d like a more educational diversion while you cool off. You can find a full list of cooling centers in the area on the King County Health website. In need of more stimulation while you stay cool? While it isn't free, the Museum of Flight is air-conditioned and a great place to learn about the history of the aerospace industry. Going to the movies is another great way to pass the time while staying in air-conditioned comfort.

If you wish to cool off while enjoying the sunshine – and who can blame you! – there’s lots of options around Seattle Southside, but make sure to take the proper precautions. Drink plenty of water, stay in the shade when you can, and don’t forget the sunscreen!  Check out our guide to beaches in the Seattle area to find a beach that’s the right fit for your family. There’s also the option of going to a splash park, such as the splash park at Angle Lake or the Tukwila Splash & Spray Park. Angle Lake also has a sizable swimming area, with a new free life vest loaner program available to help keep swimmers, especially children, safe this summer. Aside from the splash park, three of Tukwila's public parks will also be turning on their sprinkler systems to help provide relief from the heat.

No matter where you’re going to beat the heat, be sure to keep an eye on yourself and your loved ones for signs of heat exhaustion, which can include dizziness, headache, muscle cramps, and nausea. If you see these symptoms, move the person having them to a cooler spot, have them sip a cool beverage, and make sure they’re resting with their feet up. Also watch for signs of potentially deadly heat stroke, which can come on if heat exhaustion is not treated quickly. These include a fever above 103, reddened and dry skin, rapid pulse, nausea, and confusion or unconsciousness. If someone shows these symptoms, call 911 and move them to a cooler location right away. Learn more about these signs and how to do on the King County Public Health website.

Be safe and stay as cool as you can out there!