In case you haven’t felt/noticed the sweltering oven that is the U.S right now, Summer is officially here and it is here with a vengeance. Heat records are breaking across the country. Last week, Arizona saw temperatures soaring to 120 degrees in Yuma and Palm Springs, CA baked at 119 degrees. Midwest cities such as Kansas City and St. Louis topped out at 101 with suffocating humidity. Mother Nature has more than made up for the soaking Spring many states experienced this year with a thirsty Summer drought. Heat can herald wonderful experiences – swimming, BBQs, water balloon fights, or it can be deadly. Quake Kare wants everyone to have a safe, enjoyable Summer which is easy to achieve if you follow these simple tips to stay cool:
Avoiding Heat Stroke – Young children and older adults are especially susceptible to heat related illnesses as it is more difficult for their bodies to regulate heat. Even young adults can be affected by heat if they are participating in strenuous outdoor activities or not monitoring their water intake. Here are some simple tips to keep cool.
- Never leave a child or pet in a parked/hot car. An unconditioned car left in the sun can reach temperatures as high as 160° degrees within 10 minutes.
- Wear loose, lightweight clothing when spending time outdoors.
- Wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days! It is a common misconception that clouds help filter harmful UV rays. Not true! The National Cancer Society recommends wearing an SPF of 15 or higher when outside. Remember to continuously reapply throughout the day.
- Try to schedule outdoor activities during the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the hottest hours of the day which are between 10 AM and 4 PM.
- Be aware of the symptoms of heat stroke. Take immediate action if any of these are present:
- Body temperature of 104° or higher
- Erratic behavior or confusion
- Changes in sweating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Flushed skin
- Rapid and shallow breathing
- Racing heart rate
- Throbbing headache
- Stay in touch with older family members and friends to ensure they are staying cool and well hydrated.
- Pets can experience heat related illnesses as well. Provide outside pets with plenty of shade and water.
Staying Safe During Summer Activities – there are many fun activities to help beat the heat, but these activities can quickly result in injury or death without proper precautions.
- Practice safe boating – wear life jackets while on the water, stay hydrated and never, ever drink and drive a boat.
- While at the pool, closely monitor children around and in the water. Teach children to swim and learn CPR in case of an accident.
- Beware of disease carrying insects. Ticks and Mosquitoes thrive in the heat and they carry dangerous diseases that can be transmitted to humans by a simple bite. Wear bug spray, check for ticks and be aware of the symptoms of mosquito and tick borne illnesses.
- Pack plenty of water to replenish lost electrolytes. Popsicles and ices are a fun way for kids to stay cool. For adults, check out these “special” popsicle recipes.
By following these simple guidelines, you and your family can have a fun-filled summer. Just remember to stay safe, stay cool and be vigilant.