The hotter summer weather is now in full swing, and this can bring some sweltering temperatures to endure. Most people enjoy a little sunshine and warmer weather, but a full blown heat wave is an entirely different proposition. When the heat becomes extreme, it can lead to heat exhaustion, and many people are vulnerable to becoming ill and even dying in severe cases. There is still plenty of summer to go, so in this article, we will show you nine ways that you and your family can stay cooler and healthier until the weather turns colder.
- Stay Indoors
During the hottest parts of the day, it’s a great idea to stay indoors and out of the sun. This is the time when most people become sunburned, and this can lead to painful blisters and other health complications. Staying indoors and drawing the shades or curtains to keep most of the sunshine out will help you to stay cooler.
- Check the Weather
There are some great weather apps that you can use on your phone, or you can stay abreast of the local weather situation on the TV or radio. During the summer we can become complacent about the weather because we don’t need to check if it’s going to rain or snow. But, it’s a great idea to stay informed about the temperatures so that you can take extra care if you need to venture outdoors.
- Get an AC System Tune Up
It’s a great idea to get you cooling equipment serviced before each cooling season. This will ensure that the AC system is ready to use and that it will not let you down when you need it most. If you didn’t schedule a service you can still get a tune up to make sure you avoid any sudden breakdowns for the rest of the summer. A well maintained cooling system will be more effective at cooling your home, and it will have better energy efficiency to save you money.
- Have a Power Outage Plan
If there is a power outage or your air conditioner stops working, your indoor temperatures could quickly rise to a dangerous level. This is why it’s important to have a plan in place to deal with this type of situation and keep your family safe. Take some time to make a list of nearby locations where there is climate control in place. Taking a trip to local locations, such as the library, a shopping mall, a restaurant, or even a designated emergency shelter, will allow you and your family to get some relief from the heat. This may be necessary if you have an AC system breakdown and in some cases, people arrange a staycation at a local motel or hotel where the power and AC systems are still operating.
- Dress Appropriately
It’s important to dress in clothes that are appropriate for the hot summer heat. Choosing clothing such as T-shirts, short sleeved shirts, skirts, and shorts that are loose and comfortable are all great options. But, one aspect of clothing that many people don’t pay attention to in summer is the color. Always choose lighter colors over darker colors because they can absorb heat and make you feel hotter. When you wear summer clothing, more skin is exposed to the sunlight, and it’s important to wear sunblock and reapply it regularly if you venture outside.
- Stay Hydrated
We all need to drink ample quantities of water to stay healthy, and this is even more essential during a heat wave. The hotter weather makes people perspire more as their bodies try to cool their skin. Losing those vital fluids can make a person dehydrated, and this can happen very quickly. In order to stay hydrated, it’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the entire day. If you feel thirsty you’re already experiencing the early signs of dehydration so continue to drink water to avoid any feelings of thirst.
- Hot Cars are Dangerous
The air inside a parked car can heat up quickly in the summer. No living this should ever be left unattended in a hot car where they can become quickly dehydrated and suffer. Some people believe that leaving their car windows cracked open is enough to keep the car interior cool, but this isn’t true. Even a few minutes in a hot car is enough to represent a serious health risk to babies, young children, pets, and even healthy adults. When you park your car, even if it’s only for a few minutes, every living being must exit the vehicle with you.
- Caring for Pets
Pets are just as susceptible to the effects of a heat wave as their owners, but they cannot voice their concerns, and it’s important to keep them safe. If you have pets that are often outside during the day, you may want to bring them indoors if the temperature exceeds 90ºF. Always have a bowl of fresh, clean drinking water available for each pet and keep them in the shade during the hottest times of the day. A heatwave is an ideal time to give your pet a summer haircut to keep them cool.
- Recognizing Heat Exhaustion
There are a number of warning signs to recognized heat related illnesses, and it’s a great idea to familiarize yourself with these symptoms. A person affected by heat exhaustion may a faster and weaker pulse, headaches, nausea, confusion, and they could even pass out. The affected person should be moved to a cooler, shadier area, and their clothes loosened. Wet a cloth and place it on their body or if possible run a cool bath to get their temperature down. Offer the person drinking water, but don’t let them gulp it down and make them stick to smaller sips until they return to normal. If the person is throwing up or the symptoms are getting worse, or they have lasted for longer than an hour seek medical help.