Center for Health
and the Global
Climate Health and Risk Tool

Behavioral Interventions

by Alan Wang, BA, Jeremy J. Hess, MD, MPH
Published: 06/19/2023

Behavioral interventions to reduce heat risks to health include a variety of actions and lifestyle changes to reduce indoor temperatures, reduce body temperature, increase individuals’ recognition of heat-related illness in themselves and others, and increase the likelihood that affected individuals will seek care early when feeling ill. Interventions include indoor cooling with air conditioning or evaporative coolers; individual cooling strategies including fans, dousing, foot immersion, misting, and cool showers; staying hydrated; and education to increase recognition of heat-related illness and how to seek help. Most are implemented at the individual or household level and can be implemented quickly and cheaply, though air conditioning and evaporative coolers are more expensive to install and operate. Many vulnerable groups are not able to utilize behavioral interventions as easily or effectively as other groups. Ideally, behavioral interventions are part of a constellation of interventions at multiple levels to protect vulnerable individuals and communities.

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