Coping with the heat

Thursday, August 29, 2013

This is the time of year for fun outdoor activities before fall and winter temperatures set in. Activities such as camping, fishing, golfing, outdoor grilling and road trips.

But before you head out, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reminds you to plan for the dangers associated with heat waves and wildfire threats.

Learn and put into practice important summer-survival tips to help protect yourself, your property and the environment.

To protect our eyes, most of us automatically grab our sunglasses before heading outside during the daytime. Many of the things we can do to protect ourselves from high temperatures are just as easy and make just as much sense.

During an extended period of extreme heat, also known as a heat wave or the Dog Days of August, the body must work extra hard to stay cool. This stresses the body and those who are very young, elderly, overweight or sick are at highest risk for heat-related illnesses.

Consider spending the warmest part of the day in air conditioned buildings. Find a cooling off location near you.

Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.

Avoid strenuous outdoor work and play during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.

Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.

Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Drink plenty of water even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine and limit intake of alcoholic beverages.

Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease; are on fluid-restricted diets; or have a problem with fluid retention, should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake.

Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun's rays.

Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.

Coping with extensive heat and heat waves such as we have been experiencing is vital to all ages. Please be careful out there.