- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
How to Beat the Heat and Stay Cool
Ways to Keep Cool
When extreme heat torments us chances are we seek relief by staying indoors with an air conditioner blasting away. In most cases this is the safest way to keep cool. But for those who don’t have this luxury available they can still find ways to make a hot summer day bearable. The sun rays are more powerful than ever before so the heat alone is not our only concern. To prevent burns and the threat of skin cancers we need to avoid direct contact. Below you’ll find an assortment of things to help.
1) Wear light loose fitting clothing. Light weight fabrics and light colors are heat reflectors.
2) Window treatments like shades, blinds and thermal drapes stop hot sun rays from heating our homes. Tinted window film placed on skylights let the light in without the heat.
3) Canopies, umbrellas, awnings and shade trees will keep us out of direct sunshine.
4) Wear tinted eye glasses, Polaroid sunglasses, or other lenses designed to protect your eyes from the sun.
5) Hats with wide rims keep our heads protected.
6) Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks and carbonated beverages which will dehydrate you. Water or juice is a better choice.
7) Save strenuous outdoor work for early mornings or evening hours when temperatures are cooler if possible.
8) Wear sunscreens and sun-blockers made to shield you from ultra violet light. Skin protection is important. Many of these products are water proof.
9) A dip in the pool or cool shower will fight heat exhaustion. By nearly soaking ones feet in cool water the effect will help cool your whole body.
10) Ice filled coolers will save time by eliminating the need to run to the refrigerator or freezer. These appliances run more efficient if the doors stay closed.
11) Osculating fans move air around the room better than a stationary unit. A stationary fan can have added benefits from placing a bowl of ice in front of it. This serves much like an air conditioner only on a smaller scale.
12) Window fans will draw the cool air in from outdoors or the warm air out of the room.
13) A hand towel or kitchen towel soaked in cold water and wrung out and then draped around your neck will keep you cool. This also gives you a place to wipe the sweat from your face. This helps keep any hot job from overpowering you.
14) Keep air conditioners set at a higher temperature to not only save energy but to avoid catching colds and flu. The effect from going from extreme heat to extreme cold or visa-versa can cause the body to react. Extra body stress will play a dramatic role for those suffering from arthritis pain. Sinus problems are also elevated with over using air conditioners. We can stay comfortable without going to extremes with the temperature controls.
15) Avoid using the oven or stove top which will heat up your kitchen. Light cold menus are better for summer meals anyways. If you must cook in your kitchen perhaps a slow cooker or microwave oven would serve the purpose wiser.
Avoid Heat Associated Problems
There are many ways to avoid heat associated problems. We must avoid the hottest time of the day for outside activity when possible. Our pets are just as threatened by the weather as we are. Walk your dog in the early morning or evening hours when the temperatures are cooler. Be sure your pets have plenty of shade and water. After all they are part of the family, too.
Beware of signs of heat stroke like confusion, rapid pulse, dry skin, lack of sweating, dilated pupils and a high body temperature of over a hundred. Heat strokes can cause death. Our elderly are the most likely targets, but anyone can experience a heat stroke especially if exposed to high temperatures while working or exercising. If faced with a possible heat related problem, get the victim to a cool place, apply wet cool towels to the skin especially the head to lower the body temperature. Elevate their legs and fan them. Give them water, but only small amounts at a time. If a stroke is likely the cause you should call for medical help. It’s better to be safe than sorry.