It is hard to stay cool in the extreme heat of summer. Sometimes our kids are smarter than we are as they like playing in cool water when it’s too hot to do anything else. Heat can be dangerous because if a person’s body temperature rises too quickly, damage to the brain or other vital organs can occur. Everyone must pay more attention to the heat and help others, as young children and older people aren’t always able to identify when they’re too hot.
Extreme heat means temperatures are significantly hotter than usual, along with high humidity making it even more uncomfortable. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says these conditions occur when “… a dome of high atmospheric pressure traps hazy, damp air near the ground. Extremely dry and hot conditions can provoke dust storms and low visibility.”
Tips to Protect Yourself When It’s Really Hot
If your home doesn’t have air conditioning, spend the hottest hours of the day in a public building that has air conditioning. Maybe there’s a cooling center near your home or visit the library or a local mall.
Tips for staying safe when it’s too hot out for you, your family and your pets:
Drink lots of fluids whatever your activity of the day is. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. You need at least 2 to 4 glasses of cool fluids every hour when exercising and liquids with alcohol, caffeine or large amounts of sugar aren’t good.
Sweat heavily. Replace salt and minerals that your body loses and sports beverages are a good source of needed minerals.
Wear clothing that helps sweat evaporate. At home, wear as little clothing as possible and outside, wear clothes that are loose fitting,
lightweight and light colored.
Protect yourself from the sun with a wide brim hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Use SPF 15 or higher and products that say broad spectrum or UVA/UVB on their labels.
Schedule outdoor activities during early morning and evening in locations that offer shade and a supply of water.
Use a buddy system when doing strenuous activities outdoors. Set up a system to check on seniors and other high risk individuals at
least twice a day to make sure they’re okay.
NEVER leave children or pets in the car as temperatures can build up very quickly.
Make sure pets have enough shade and water when you have to leave them outdoors. Be kind to birds and wild animals by keeping a supply of water filled for them.
Get medical attention when someone isn’t feeling well. Extreme body temperatures can cause a number of heat related illnesses including heat exhaustion, heat cramps or heat stroke. Don’t take a chance!
Protect Your Home from Heat Damage
As always, good preventative measures are less expensive than making repairs.
Make sure you water your lawn and shrubs while it’s dark so that the water gets absorbed into the ground with minimal evaporation.
Water around your foundation 1 to 2 times a week (at night) if your sprinkler system isn’t covering this ground. Use a soaker hose
where you don’t have sprinklers, placing them 18 inches from the house. By keeping the soil moist you will avoid damage to the foundation and subsequent repairs.
Make sure your attic ventilation is working or you’ll be paying higher air conditioning bills. Soffit vents can get clogged and prevent intake air from getting into your attic, reducing the effectiveness of roof vents.