EAT THE HEAT
Extreme heat is not much fun unless you’re lucky enough to be at the pool. Here’s a little guide to help you get through those scorching days.
Stay hydrated. Drink throughout the day, even if you’re not thirsty.
And make sure your kids are hydrated, too! Send enough water with your children when they leave the house. A five-year-old needs about five cups of water a day; kids nine years and up need eight cups.
Skip that coffee. And that glass of wine. Caffeine and alcohol deplete the body of water.
Get out of the sun. Go sit under a welcoming tree, or take some time to go inside where it’s air conditioned.
Save the straight black dress for fall. Dark colors reflect the sun. Loose fitting, lightly colored clothes will keep you feeling cooler.
Don’t slave over that stove. Now is not the time to spend hours cooking in your kitchen. You’ve got all winter for that!
Stick with indoor workouts. If you really need the fresh air when you exercise, go in the early morning hours.
Always check your car! A car turns quickly into an oven in the heat. Keep your purse or wallet on the back seat as a precaution to ensure that you do not forget to check for little sleeping passengers before you leave the vehicle.
Buy mini fans for the mini people in your life. Spray fans are even better. These can prevent your children from overheating when they are waiting for the bus or at day camp.
Protect your skin. Protect your neck – in addition to your face – from the blazing sun.
Get plenty of rest. It’s always nice to have an excuse for that, but extra rest really is necessary when the temperature goes way up.
Princeton University Environmental Health Safety
American Red Cross
Water Fun for Kids
Kids home from day camp but the heat has not yet broken? Here are some ways they can still play outside while keeping cool.
Bunch o Balloons is a neat little gadget that lets you fill up to 40 water balloons at once from a faucet or hose. And what can be more fun than water balloons?
Jump rope with a cup of water. Now that’s exercise with a splash!
Sponges that have soaked in a bucket of water have so many options for fun play. When else can kids throw things at each other with their mother’s approval? Well, maybe not. But you can play tag or catch with them.
Wash the car. Get out those buckets and sponges and start washing. The kids will get clean, the car will get clean, and everyone will get soaking wet while they’re at it!
A bucket of water and a paintbrush are all you need to “paint” the house, the fence, the driveway, your friend….you name it.
Water limbo is so much fun! All you need is a hose and a back that’s young enough to bend carefully under the spraying stream of water.
Ice cubes melt quickly in the heat, but who can get them to melt the quickest? Find out when you make it into a race. You can make things even more exciting by freezing small toys in bowls of water and having your kids hack them out.
Keeping Seniors Safe in the Summer
A personal emergency response system that includes a panic button is a must for seniors living alone, ensuring immediate alert and response in case of a medical emergency such as a fall.
All medication should be listed prominently in an obvious spot such as the refrigerator. An identical list should be carried at all times in one’s wallet or purse.
Find out what a senior’s primary doctor’s summer schedule is like; if he or she will be on leave, find out who will be taking over.
Make sure a senior’s home is well ventilated. Electric fans promote air movement that evaporates sweat and allows the body to cool down; it’s a good idea to invest in a few of those. Check to ensure that windows open and close with ease, and double check that the elderly parent is able to lock and unlock the front and back doors without difficulty.
Encourage seniors to wear ultraviolet-resistant sunscreen, as elderly people are at greater risk of developing melanomas and basal skin cancers.
Signs of Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion can occur if a person has inadequate fluid levels or after prolonged exposure to high temperatures.
Look out for these signs:
nausea or vomiting
weakness or lethargy
skin that is cool or moist to the touch
rapid, shallow breathing
rapid, weak pulse
If you recognize any of these signs, rest in a cool environment and drink liquids according to your doctor’s advice. (It’s always best to call your physician with any signs of trouble). If not treated, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, a life-threatening condition.
Signs of Heat Stroke
Without emergency treatment, heat stroke, which occurs when the body can no longer control its temperature, can lead to death or permanent disability.
Signs of heat stroke:
dry skin, failure to sweat
fast, strong pulse
extreme body temperature, above 103 degrees Fahrenheit