9 Tips to Stay Safe in Summer Heat
It seems that most of the country is suffering from a heat wave at the moment, and we’re all turning on the AC or headed to the beach. Whether you love heat or despise it, one thing is certain: Hot weather can be dangerous if you don’t take the right precautions. Follow these tips to stay safe this summer.
Hydrate yourself! The number one thing to remember in hot weather is to drink plenty of water. You will need more fluids than usual, due to sweating so much, and cold water can help to cool your core temperature too. Drink water even when you don’t feel thirsty; once you’re thirsty, that’s a sign that you’re already dehydrated.
Use your oven less often. Using your oven heats up the kitchen and makes your air conditioner work harder. And if you don’t have air conditioning, a hot kitchen is the last thing you want. Switch to sandwiches and cool summer salads during the heat of the day, or make meals at night that you can easily nuke in the microwave the next day.
Use sunscreen or wear clothes that cover your skin. We all need to worry about more than just heatstroke. Remember to cover your skin, either with sunscreen or comfortable clothing, to prevent sunburn. Just one or two bad burns can increase your risk of future skin cancer dramatically.
Protect your eyes and face. Don’t forget about your eyes and face. Sunglasses and a visor will keep the sun out of your eyes, and protect your face from burns.
Stay indoors during the hottest part of the day. Air conditioning is your friend! Avoid going outdoors when the sun is directly overhead, such as between the hours of 11am and 3pm. And if you exercise outdoors, move your workouts to very early morning or just before dark.
Take a cool shower. If you feel overheated, particularly if you’ve just exercised, take a cool shower or bath.
Use caution with vehicles. Every year, children and pets die in hot cars. Sometimes this happens during playtime outside, and sometimes overtired parents forget their young children in the car. Make a habit of checking your backseat before exiting the car, and then lock the doors.
Don’t forget your pets. Pets can’t exactly tell us, but they suffer in hot weather too. Make sure to offer your pet plenty of fresh water on a regular basis, provide shade for outdoor pets, and watch out for hot pavement that can burn paws when you take your dog for a walk.
Use extra caution if you’re high risk. Older adults face higher risks of heat stroke, so be extra cautious if you’re over age 60. And if you have a health condition that increases your risk of dehydration or overheating, follow your doctor’s advice closely.