July 28, 2009
Cool tips for hot weather
Wearing cooler clothing, staying out of the sun, seeking air-conditioned buildings (movies anyone?) and drinking plenty of water seems to be common sense in extreme hot weather, but here are some things you might not have thought of:A cold beer sounds good, but it’s better to avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, which can be dehydrating. And don’t wait until you are thirsty to reach for that glass of water.
Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are open. Of course, it’s against the law to ever leave children in a car.
Check on elderly neighbors and relatives. They may be the first to “wilt” in the heat. Take elderly neighbors a pitcher of cold lemonade.
Get out the crafts and board games for children to play low-level activities indoors where it may be cooler.
Cover your windows and keep lights and appliances off during the day to help keep your house cool. Open windows at night, placing fans near windows to draw the cooler air in.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, headache and nausea. If you notice someone with signs of overheating, move the person to a cooler location, and have them rest for a few minutes and slowly drink a cool beverage.
Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided. Symptoms include high body temperature, hot and dry skin, rapid pulse, confusion and unconsciousness.
Remember the effects of heat on your pets, too. Leave pets at home instead of taking them on errands. Pets are susceptible to sunburn and other heat-related maladies and their paws can burn when walking on hot pavement.
Animals need access to shade. Replenish their water dish with cool water throughout the day.
“Dogs and cats cool themselves by rapid breathing, and it means animals must work hard to stay cool. So, when it’s hot for you, it’s even hotter for them!” says Humane Society CEO Brenda Barnette.
Think cool thoughts. Do a little rain dance. This can’t last forever!