Beat The Heat This Summer: Staying Cool Saves Lives

Summer is here and if you can’t keep your cool it’s possible that you could be putting your life at risk.

As it heats up, and the mercury starts rising past 90 degrees, your body and health are at risk.

In 2013 there were 39 confirmed cases of children dying of heat stroke from being left in a car.

Temperatures inside a vehicle can rise to life-threating heat rapidly, even if the temperatures outside are relatively mild. In just 10 minutes the temperature inside a car can rise 20 degrees hotter than the outside temperature. In 30 minutes the inside can be 34 degrees hotter.

A child’s body does not have the same internal temperature control as an adult’s body! A child’s body can warm three to five times faster!

Don’t leave unattended living organisms in the car alone … PERIOD.

Now that we’ve gotten the “don’t leave a kid alone in a car” speech over with lets get onto how the summer heat can put your life in danger.

Dehydration

All living organisms require water to live. Currently there has never been an organism discovered that could exist without water.

For us humans, water is extremely crucial considering that water makes up 60 per cent of our body mass.

But if you expel more H2O than you intake you will become dehydrated. We lose water constantly through our breathing, excretion, and sweating. Your body never stops losing water.

In the heat of the summer – especially in dry arid regions – that loss of water is greatly excelled.

The loss of water also makes it hard for your body to regulate it’s own temperature. This leaves you susceptible to heat related illness.

Dehydration is a killer. It’s important to drink plenty of cool, clean water when you’re out in the heat.

Heat Related Illness

Of the heat related illnesses heat stroke is the most dangerous heat related illness. A heat stroke is considered a medical emergency which may lead to death and should be treated so. Seeking immediate medical attention if you or someone else suspects to be suffering from a heat stroke is highly advised.

As someone who’s had heat exhaustion – possibly a very minor heat stroke – I understand how dangerous it could be. It took years for my body to be able to stand any time in the heat and I was physically weak from it for months. Now I am much more careful in the heat of the summer.

Please read more about heat related illness here: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatstress/heat_illnesses.html

And more detailed info on heat stroke here: http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/heat-stroke-symptoms-and-treatment

The Hottest Part of the Day

The hottest time of the day during the typical summer day is in the mid afternoon. Here in N. Texas the hours of 2pm to 6pm during the summer months are usually the hottest with 4 pm being the apex of the heat.

During the summer try to avoid working outside in the heat during these times. Instead use the early morning, and the evening to beat the heat. Then you can take advantage of an afternoon siesta!

If you aren’t sure what the hottest time of the day is where you live, just ask a couple of ‘old-timers’. They’ll know!

Keeping Your House Cool

It’s not uncommon for A/C units to bite the dust here in the Texas heat. And when that happens the heat in ours homes can quickly skyrocket.

These simple tips can help you keep it cooled down if your A/C is on the fritz: http://www.networx.com/article/10-ways-to-keep-your-house-cool-without

One big mistake that people often make is opening all their windows and curtains when the A/C goes out. It’s important to block out as much sun as possible during the day to keep your home cool. Light colored and solar blocking curtains during the day will help greatly. Then you let the cooler air in at night. There are more details about this in the article link above.

Here is a neat simple little A/C unit you can make for your home:

I did make my own and test it out. The more frozen blocks of ice in the cooler the better it will work. I was fairly satisfied with the results and may use it to try and help keep some load off my A/C unit during the hottest days.

Stay Covered in the Sun

Protective clothing is also important during the summer. You may be tempted to go sleeveless or for the ladies a skimpy tank top. But exposed skin is susceptible to sunburn!

Loose fitting and light colored full cover cotton clothing will help you keep cool. A lightweight long sleeve shirt can also keep the sun off your arms. It may seem counterintuitive but sometimes the proper long sleeve shirt can keep you cooler!

To understand how important it is to protect yourself from the sun look to the people who live in the hottest and driest climates. They are often covered head to toe in loose fitting clothing!

Here’s some info from REI about proper sun protective clothing: http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/sun-protection.html

The summer heat is nothing to be taken lightly! Also remember that concrete and blacktop jungles are much hotter than grassy areas. They soak up the heat and radiate it back into your environment. If you really want to beat the heat this summer head for the countryside!

Do you have any great advice for keeping cool this summer? Your advice could just save someone’s life so comment below!

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