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Hot enough for ya? Tips on how to beat the heat

The Heat Miser has visited, and he has apparently partied too much! Our lush, green grass is now BROWN! The air outside feels like an open flame! Worst of all, there is one reported heat-related death in this area.

I’m very lucky! We have air conditioning and we aren’t afraid to use it! So we’ve been spending much of this heatwave indoors, putting off going to the mailbox, running errands and walking the dog until after the sun goes down, and staying in, drinking cold beverages and taking it easy.

But not everyone is as lucky as us! Keep in mind there are many people, particularly our elderly and parents of small children, who live on fixed incomes or tight budgets and simply can’t afford to turn on the A/C. If you’re one of the lucky ones like me, GOOD. Be sure and take the time to check on your friends and neighbors and make sure they are staying cool. Also, check with your local Homeland Security Office to see if there are any “cooling centers” open in your area during the day.

If at all possible, do NOT take your children or pets with you to run errands. Usually I don’t mind letting Sebastian stay in the car while I run into the grocery store, but not now!!! The only place he gets in the car to head to is another house or the pet store! With his black fur, we don’t even want to let him run around in the yard, so we just chase him around the house! He’s just as happy and he stays cool!

If you need to run errands while toting the children, do NOT leave your children in their car. If you search Google News there are LOTS of recent reports of children left in hot cars. It never turns out well. Please take them inside with you.

Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control on how to beat the heat this summer:

  • Stay cool indoors.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Replace salt and minerals.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully.
  • Pace yourself.
  • Use a buddy system.
  • Monitor people at high risk.
  • Adjust to the environment.
  • Do not leave children in cars.
  • Use common sense.

 “Replace salt and minerals” is very important. Water is great to keep you hydrated, but keep some Pedialyte, Gatorade, Smartwater or anything that includes Electrolytes around. These will help rehydrate you. Soft drinks are horrible for rehydration.

Young children and the elderly are at the greatest risk for heat exhaustion, but keep in mind playing outdoor sports and even hiking can be strenuous for all ages. Just use common sense and don’t feel the need to push yourself!

Finally, if you know someone who swears up and down they can “handle the heat,” do check on them. You’d be amazed how many people are hospitalized for heat exhaustion and aren’t certain of their limits.

For more tips, visit this page at the CDC, and don’t forget to wear plenty of sunscreen!!!

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