How to Keep Your Cool in the Heat Wave
Weather often makes the headlines in health news. This is because we are
affected by the natural environment we live in, despite all our ingenious efforts
at protecting ourselves against the elements. Take, for example, temperature.
Extreme temperatures can cause a great deal of harm to the human body. In fact,
it’s hard to say which is more dangerous — too much heat or too much cold.
These days, most of us are worried about too much heat. Heat waves have
already swept across parts of the U.S. and Canada, even though summer is far
from over. These heat waves, climatologists warn, are likely to become more
frequent. This is a cause for real concern when you consider the aftermath of a
heat wave in Europe a number of years ago: an estimated 30,000 deaths were
likely caused by the searing temperatures.
Heat can adversely affect your body in a number of ways. You can suffer from
heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat fainting, heat edema (when your hands, feet
and ankles swell), heat rash, and heat cramps. To help prevent these symptoms
(some of which can be serious), here are six tips for staying cool during a heat
1. Use an air conditioner. Not everyone likes them, and you don’t have to use
them every day, but keep one in working order for those days when the
temperature gets too hot. If you only have an air conditioner in one room,
consider using fans elsewhere in your home. While they can’t add cool air to
your surroundings, fans can still help to draw cooler air into your home at night.
Don’t forget to draw your curtains to block out direct sunlight during the day.
2. Stay hydrated. Liquids cool your body temperature. Drink water throughout
the day. Like most people, you may lose your appetite during hotter weather.
You may need to drink more to compensate for this.
3. Take a break from the heat by going to a cool place. It could be a shady spot
under a tree or an air-conditioned shopping mall, grocery store, movie theater, or
library. To get a little exercise, walk in a mall or go for a swim at the local pool.
4. Take cool baths or showers.
5. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. These healing foods have high water content
and can help to cool you down. Watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and
salads are all good choices when it comes to lowering your body temperature.
6. Avoid direct sunlight. If you have to go outside, wear a wide-brimmed hat and
light colored clothing that won’t attract the heat of the sun. Sunscreen will
protect against UV radiation, but not against the heat.
Just a few other words of advice: NEVER leave a person or pet in your care
inside a parked car during a heat wave. The temperature inside a car parked in
the sun rises very fast and can become dangerous in a matter of minutes — it’s
just too risky! Also, keep track of seniors and phone them regularly during heat
waves to make sure they are coping.
Article Source: Reducing Health Risks when Temperatures Soar
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