This is the 4th blog in this series.
Keeping cool is part of good health. We have seen dangerous rising temperatures here and in other countries, triggering conditions and outcomes we have not seen before. It is very important to consider the impact of heat on your health. We need to be mindful of what we can do about the effects on our bodies, this includes caring for minor children, pets, and older adults.
Here are 18 tips and suggestions to defeat the heat in your area and life:
- Avoid the high noon sun and heat. This is known to be the hottest time of day. Do outdoor activities early or later in the day and early evening. Seek out shade when needed.
- Take a source of cold water with you while running errands. Sip on water between trips to different locations.
3. Be sure to never leave pets in a hot car! A car can heat up quickly in extreme temperatures, even when you open the windows.
4. Young children should never be left or accidentally forgotten in the backseat of a vehicle. These stories of infant deaths due to being left in vehicles are heartbreaking. With so much on our minds these days, while running around checking things off our to-do lists, it is a great idea to have some sort of trigger that reminds you that small children are traveling with you. A toy or small doll in the front seat, a toy on your key chain, or a visible baby on board note posted inside your vehicle can serve as reminders. Another tip is to put your purse, backpack, lunch or brief case in the back seat with your young child, so you have to go to the back seat once you park. This can potentially save a life.
5. In the home, keep blinds and curtains closed to keep the interior of your house cool.
6. Have your air conditioning serviced regularly as preventative maintenance.
7. It is common knowledge that heat rises. If you live in a two-story home, stay on the first floor to keep cool.
8. Use a fan inside to cool down. There are many types of fans. Battery-operated fans are good to keep on hand, for those unexpected times when the electricity goes out.
9. Handheld small misting bottle fans may help you maintain your cool too. I just replaced the batteries in mine the other day.
10. I have heard that if you touch the pavement with the back of your hand for 7 seconds, and it is too hot for your hand, then it is also too hot for your dog’s paws. Keep the dogs off the hot pavement to avoid injuries to your furry friends. Be mindful of your own feet too. https://www.four-paws.org/our-stories/publications-guides/hot-asphalt-a-danger-to-your-dogs-paws
11. You may want to consider wearing a hat or using an umbrella while walking outdoors to provide some needed shade.
12. Wear lightweight breathable and loose-fitting clothing. Cotton and linen are usually good choices.
13. Use sunscreen when outside, to protect your skin.
14. Kindness tip: This would be so nice! Leave some cold bottled water and a little thank you message for your package delivery personnel and/or mail carrier. Their jobs are even tougher in this extreme heat and humidity. Postal trackers help us to know the expected time and date of deliveries and they are pretty accurate, most of the time. It would be easy to coordinate this act of kindness when you are home to accept deliveries.
15. Enjoy eating cold foods like frozen blueberries, homemade fruit ice pops, a sweet slice of watermelon, or a fresh, crisp salad that can be refreshing on hot days.
16. Throughout the day, remember to hydrate regularly and drink plenty of water to replenish body fluids lost from sweating. Drink when you feel thirsty. Do not ignore thirst triggers.
17. Rest when you feel tired, lightheaded, and/or dizzy. Rehydrate during periods of rest.
18. When you feel ill in the heat, call 911. Don’t wait, until it’s too late.
Stay healthy and hydrated — Defeat the heat!
Blogs in this series
- Heat, Hydration, and Dehydration: Know the signs and symptoms Heat, Hydration, and Dehydration: Know the Signs and Symptoms – UF/IFAS Extension Broward County (ufl.edu)
- Heat, Hydration, and Dehydration: Sources of water Heat, Hydration, and Dehydration: Sources of Water – UF/IFAS Extension Broward County (ufl.edu)
- Heat, Hydration, and Dehydration: Tips to drink more water Heat, Hydration, and Dehydration: Tips to drink more water – UF/IFAS Extension Broward County (ufl.edu)
- Heat, Hydration, and Dehydration: Defeat the Heat- https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/browardco/2022/07/27/heat-hydration-and-dehydration-defeat-the-heat/
About this series
This blog series was written to inform and inspire the reader to stay hydrated, prevent dehydration and/or heat-related illnesses. As temperatures rise, so does the risk to our health. Extreme heat is a threat to our well-being. It is important to make sure you are giving your body enough water to keep it functioning at its best. These tips and considerations can improve the quality of your life and potentially save lives. Stay safe.