Summer is here! Staying Cool During Deadly Heat

Summer is here and we all need to take care of ourselves and our pets.

This article give some great tips!

Stay cool!
George Litchfield

Staying Cool During Deadly Heat

by

The current weather mapsays it all: Two-thirds of the country is colored fiery orange and red, reflecting the dangerously hot weather making life miserable for millions of Americans.

Combine that with the power outages affecting some 2 million people and you have a recipe for an increased risk of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Heat stroke can occur quickly in seniors and those with chronic illness, as well as  in children and pets.

And with the Fourth of July holiday coming up when a lot of people spend time outdoors, it’s a good time to be reminded of the importance of staying cool, hydrated and recognizing the symptoms of heat distress.

Our body sweats to keep us cool, but if we don’t replace the water lost through sweating, the body can overheat with serious, sometimes fatal, results.

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That’s why you should keep drinking cool liquids throughout a hot day and not just wait until you feel thirsty. If you’re feeling thirsty, your body already has a serious fluid deficit.

To keep your body hydrated, avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks. Choose instead water and sports drinks, ice pops, even cold watermelon to help replace the electrolytes lost during sweating.

The symptoms of heat stroke, according to the Mayo Clinic, include the following:

  • High body temperature.
  • Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating. 
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Racing heart rate.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle cramps or weakness.
  • Confusion and slurred speech.

If you think a person is experiencing heat stroke, call for emergency medical help and try and cool the overheated victim.
If they are conscious, get them to drink some water. Soak their clothes with cool water and sponge cool water on their body. You can apply ice packs to their armpits, head and groin.
Also keep in mind that heat cramps and heat exhaustion can precede heat stroke — they’re like the warning signs that the heat is getting to you.
Heat cramps, which can occur in the arms, legs and stomach, can be treated by drinking fluids with electrolytes, such as a sports drink, and cooling down in a shady or air-conditioned area.
Heat exhaustion occurs when the symptoms of heat cramps are ignored. It’s usually accompanied by headache, dizziness and nausea.

And please — don’t forget to take precautions with your pet during the hot weather.

“Heat exhaustion is just as dangerous for animals as it is for humans,” Carolynn MacAllister, a veterinarian with Oklahoma State University, told the New York Daily News.

She suggests taking your dog for a walk during the coolest part of the day and never leaving your pet in a car or garage — or outside for long periods of time — because animals can quickly become overheated.

–This article is from AARP.org

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