Summer is officially upon us. Families are vacationing, teens are sunbathing and moms everywhere are kicking their kids out of the house, telling them to enjoy the fresh air. Everywhere you go, people are out and about, mowing their lawns and tending their gardens. Yes, it is summertime, but what we need to remember is that along with all the sunshine and fresh air comes rising temperatures. While a day at the beach or pool is great, it can turn dangerous for people who are not prepared.
According to the CDC’s website heat exposure has killed 8,015 in the U.S. from 1979 to 2003. That averages to about 334 people a year. Summer comes every year, and every year we are overwhelmed with a plethora of information on heat safety. More and more places offer free water and cooling stations. Parks and cities are adding water fountain play areas. So why are so many people still getting sick and dying from the heat? Natural selection maybe? Whatever the cause, here’s a few tips from me on keeping a cool head during the hot days to come.
The most effective defense against heat is air conditioning. If you have air and are able to, stay inside. At least until it is not so sweltering outside. I know not everyone has the option of being in a nicely air conditioned home, so if you find yourself out and about on a scorching hot afternoon, try to stay smart.
- Always keep hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids. Energy drinks are good too as they help replenish salt and other important minerals.
- Wear the right clothing. Wear lightweight loose fitting clothing. All natural fibers, especially cotton are the best. They allow the heat to dissipate and the moisture passes through.
- Pace yourself. Keep your activity level down, especially during peak hours. If you are working, try to take breaks.
So watch yourself this summer. And watch out for those around you too. Use your common sense and try not to fall prey to Mother Nature’s skimming of the gene pool. I’m just sayin’.