The HEAT is on! We’ve had a pretty mild summer but the hot, sultry days are now upon us. With the temperature gauge reaching 100 degrees and above for several days in a row, make sure you take precautions for surviving the high temperatures.
- Air conditioning is a must if you live in Texas. Believe it or not, air conditioning is the number one defense against heat – related illness and death. If you don’t have air conditioning, spend time in shopping malls, public libraries or other public use places.
- Drink cool, non-alcoholic beverages and increase your fluid intake. You should be drinking double you normal amount even without activity. Water is your best friend in the heat!
- Replace Salt and Minerals – If you are outside and sweating heavily, it is necessary for you to replace salts and minerals lost from sweat. A sports beverage is good for replacing salts and minerals.
- Sunscreen and Appropriate Clothing – Make sure to wear lightweight, light colored and loose-fitting clothing. Believe it or not, sunburn doesn’t allow your body to cool itself and drains your body fluids. Make sure to wear sunscreen of SPF 30 (look for “broad spectrum” or UVA/UVB protection. The biggest mistake made with sunscreen is not being reapplied throughout your time spent in the sun.
- Outdoor Activity – Limit your activity to morning and evening. Try to stay out of the sun in the highest hours of the day. If you must be outside, try to take cover in a shady area when possible.
- Check on High Risk People – High-risk is defined as infants and children under 4 years of age; people 65 years and older; people who are overweight; people who are physically ill with heart disease, high blood pressure, or taken medications which can have an adverse reaction to heat.
- Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets and leave them in a shady area if outside.
It doesn’t take long for heat stroke to occur. Heat stroke happens when the body is unable to regulate its temperature. With heat stroke the body temperature is unable to regulate itself and may rise to 106 degrees or higher within 15 minutes. Call for help immediately…heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability. Remember, common sense in keeping cool on these extremely hot days is your best ally.