MHMC Advice During Hot Weather Season
While the temperatures are still warm outside, it’s a good idea to re-evaluate what you’re doing to help protect you and your family from dangerous sun rays. The summer heat can take a toll on both children and adults, making it important for some safety measures be taken. The more you plan ahead during these dog days of summer, the more you will be able to avoid some of the heat-related health problems that can occur.
Extreme temperatures can be especially problematic for the elderly, infants, and young children, as well as those with health conditions. Issues such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and heat cramps, are just a few of the heat-related illnesses that people are at risk for during warm months. During the day time, there is also a risk of sunburn to contend with. The good news is that there are measures you can take to help reduce risks of heat-related illnesses.
Your first line of defense in combating the high temperatures outside is air conditioning. If you have air conditioning and it’s working properly, great! However, some people either don’t have an air conditioning system, or may need one to be repaired. If there is a particularly hot day being forecasted and you’re without air, consider spending time at a friend’s house or in the mall that day. While staying indoors on a hot day is ideal, it’s not always do-able. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind to help beat the heat during the hot season:
- Stay hydrated. Staying hydrated is going to be your best defense when it comes to your body regulating its temperature. It’s important to get plenty of water to drink during the warmer months; especially on days that are predicted to have extreme heat. Also, opt for eating foods that contain water, such as watermelon, grapefruit, grapes, cucumbers, and apples.
- Seek shade. If you will be outside bring some shade with you just in case you can’t find any. You can do this by taking along a wide brimmed hat and an umbrella. Both will provide you with some much-needed shade from the sun’s rays. Also be sure to avoid over-dressing when you head outside.
- Take breaks. Doing things outside on a hot day can exhaust you much quicker than on a cooler day. Be sure to take breaks to give your body a chance to rest and recover.
- Watch the time. When there is something you need to do outside on a hot day, try to arrange it to be in either the earlier or later part of the day. This will help you avoid the sun at its hottest hours, which is usually between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
- Use sunscreen. Being outside on a sunny day (regardless of the temperature) calls for having sunscreen. Use one that provides broad spectrum coverage, and be sure to check the instructions for how often it should be re-applied.
Cooler days are ahead and will be here before we know it. But until then, be sure to take measures to help protect you and your family from heat-related illnesses. Small measures taken now can really pay off later!