Posts tagged: heat

Heat Tips: How to Be Safe During the Hot Weather

Heat during the summer months can cause major issues and even tragic untimely death due to lack of understanding of how high the temperature really is during the day. Heat indexes usually reflex heat temperatures and humidity which directly affects the ozone exposure to our bodies. Ozone is good to protect the earth from the harmful rays of the sun but closer to us and breathing it is harmful to our bodies.

The general rule is: If you don’t have to go outside, don’t

Use these tips to get you through the summer months of high heat and humidity safely:

  • Remember the buddy system and contact relatives, the elderly, neighbors or shut in community/church members during hot days.
  • Limit infant’s exposure to extreme heat temperatures outside to less than 15 minutes.
  • Use fans or air conditioners in good working conditions as needed. Clean filters frequently according to use. Make sure your central air units are serviced yearly or as needed.
  • Provide water for pets traveling in the heat and offer temporary shade if needed.
  • Use the air conditioner in your vehicle. If you do not have one make sure the windows are open while riding in the car.
  • If you do not have fans or an air conditioner in your home or apartment, ALWAYS open the windows.
  • Pull over to overpasses or go to shaded areas frequently if are having problems or are out in the sun and/or traveling for a long time.
  • Prepare for power outages. Have candles, water and canned food supply ready to go for 3 days. The refrigerator will keep things cold for two hours without opening the door.
  • Cool down with a wet wash cloth over your face, neck, arms and legs several times a day. Use a spritzer bottle as often as necessary to keep the body cooler and skin moist.
  • Pull shades down and close blinds to prevent overheated rooms. Relocate to cooler areas of the house for activities and sleep downstairs if necessary.
  • Take trips to public places that are air conditioned like the library, malls, movie theaters, community centers or eateries.
  • Wear unrestrictive clothing and light colors. Cover as much skin as possible.
  • Carry extra water in jugs or thermos.
  • Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol limits the body from sweating normally.
  • Limit your intake of caffienated beverages. Caffeine acts as a diuretic and pulls water out directly from the cells causing dehydration.
  • Stay indoors if possible if the ozone levels are high. Breathing ozone can damage living cells especially cells lining the respiratory tract. It can cause swelling and inflammation aggrevating respiratory conditions.
  • Do not leave any infants, toddlers, fragile children or adults or animals in the car for even a short period of time in extreme hot temperatures. Thinking you are just running into the store for 5 minutes can prove to be deadly.
  • Stay inside if you have any respiratory condition, anemia or heart condition.

High heat temperatures put excess stress on the body. Being dehydrated coupled with the stress from the heat is an unsafe combination. Most people are not aware of what is happening until it is too late. Remember, the heat index is always higher than ambient air temperatures due to the humidity. If the temperature is high and the humidity is high, chances are you are going to have a harder time dealing with the heat due to less sweating. Sweating is the body’s way of getting rid of excess heat. Be care and be safe in hot weather.

Donna Marie Laino, RN

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Heat Wave: Stay Cool, Stay Healthy During Extreme Hot Weather Temperatures

Hot temperatures and humid conditions during the summer months can become unbearable but for most it can become a threat to their health. By the time summer comes, we want to enjoy being outside, have fun in the sun and enjoy outdoor activities. Many people take vacations during the off months from school with their families but at the same time, endure blazing heat, hot sun hours and dehydration.

It is rare that people take the proper precautions and catch themselves before they get overheated and needing more water to compete with the body’s quick rate of water evaporation. Lax eating and sleeping habits contribute to becoming out of balance along with the increase consumption of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages. Longer day light hours also contribute to sun exposure and exhaustion as we quickly lose track of time, often missing routine meal times, change our food preparation habits and bedtime routines.

Follow these summertime guidelines for a healthier you:

1. Plan outdoor activities during cooler hours. Hotter sun hours usually occur between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM.Exercise in the early morning or laterĀ  at night.
2. Use sunscreen over 15 SPU to block out harmful ultraviolet rays. Make sure you apply it 20 minutes BEFORE going out into the sun.
3. Wear clothing suitable for summer weather. Hats, appropriate footwear, and cover-ups around water especially.
4. Protect your eyes with UV sunglasses.
5. Avoid sunburn at all costs. If your skin starts to become itchy, you are already burnt. Get out of the sun immediately and attend to the sunburn.
6. Drink water before going out into the sun and hydrate every hour. If your mouth is thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
7. Drink refreshing water with fresh lemon, lime or freshly squeezed orange with fresh mint. Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks.
8. Stick to meal times and eat healthy snacks and main courses. Eat lighter meals such as salads, fresh vegetables and fruit.
9. Bring water bottles with you when you travel or go shopping.
10. Remember to take routine medication and supplements to maintain balance in the body.

Hot weather will be a challenge for those who do not prepare well or ignore body signals. When your body says enough, listen to it and get the proper attention required. Seek medical help if needed early on if problems arise.

Have fun in the sun and remember to drink water!

Donna Marie Laino, RN

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