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Don't Compete With The Heat

In the dog days of summer, the heat index can reach up to and over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. These are some of the hottest days of the year, and the days when the heat can wear you down quickly. Staying outside in excessive heat, or even inside without air conditioning, can be detrimental to your health. Here are some tips to stay healthy and cool and not try to compete with the heat.

1. Drink Water. Drinking water not only keeps your body hydrated, but it also helps your body with its natural cooling system. If you are dehydrated, then your body will have to work that much harder to cool off. Make sure you drink plenty of water, during the hot days of summer...and every day.

2. Stay Out of the Sun. As much as possible, stay out of direct sunlight during the hottest days of the summer. The sun's rays are the strongest in the late morning and early afternoon, but the heat is greatest at the later part of the day. If you aren't able to stay in a cool area, find a local cooling station and go there.

Photo by Jeanette R. Harrison

3. Check on Loved Ones. During the summer heat, individuals who are isolated or live by themselves are especially vulnerable to the hot weather. An elderly person living alone may have windows closed up tightly and not allowing proper circulation in the home. Other individuals may not have air conditioning in their home. Extreme temperatures can greatly affect people who already suffer from chronic conditions. Check on these people at regular intervals to ensure that they are able to stay safe and cool.

4. Visit Cooling Stations. Although someone may not be elderly or live alone, they still can suffer from heat exhaustion. Homeless people, in particular, are subject to extreme temperatures. Creating cooling stations or informing others about potential cooling stations can help reduce serious illness as a result of heatstroke or heat exhaustion. An individual who already suffers from a serious condition like heart disease maybe even more at risk during hot weather.

5. Don't Leave Kids or Animals in the Car. Leaving children or pets in a hot car can lead to deadly consequences. If the windows are rolled up, the temperatures in the car can rise to higher than those outside. Parents and care providers are busy. However, they should always check the back seat to make sure that kids and pets are not sitting alone in a hot car. A child in a car seat cannot release herself/himself to escape the heat. Don't sacrifice your child's life for a few moments of convenience or because you are in a hurry.