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Tips for Beating the Heat this Weekend (and anytime)

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posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 03:25 PM
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I really feel for all you in the eastern half of the USA this weekend. We're actually cooling down here in the desert as you all warm up. Of course, that's relative. We'll still be close to 110°... but this last week we've been over 110°, so we'll take what we can get! And I thought it might be a good time to offer some tips on getting through it. And I'm hoping other desert rats will add their own tips.

First, know that heat kills. One can go from overheated to heat exhaustion to heat stroke pretty quickly.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include:
  • weakness
  • muscle cramping
  • heavy sweating
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • nausea/vomiting
  • rapid pulse (over 90)
  • Thirst
  • clammy skin

Treatment for heat exhaustion is pretty simple: Remove patient from heat, cool patient down with cool water from a hose or spray bottle or wet cloths, rehydrate with cool -- not cold -- water.

Symptoms for heat stroke (a medical emergency requiring medical care):
  • Throbbing headache
  • dizziness
  • lack of sweating
  • red, hot and dry skin
  • muscle weakness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • rapid heartbeat; which may be either strong or weak
  • rapid, shallow breathing
  • confusion, disorientation or staggering
  • seizures
  • unconsciousness

If you suspect heat stroke, call 911 or take the patient to the hospital emergency room immediately; if waiting for ambulance, you can try these cooling strategies:
  • Fan air over the patient while wetting his or her skin with water from a sponge or garden hose or spray bottle.
  • Apply ice packs to the patient's armpits, groin, neck and back. Because these areas are rich with blood vessels close to the skin, cooling them may reduce body temperature.
  • Immerse the patient in a shower or tub of cool water.
  • If the person is young and healthy and suffered heat stroke while exercising vigorously -- what's known as exertional heat stroke -- you can use an ice bath to help cool the body.


Okay. I wanted to address the health dangers first, but of course everyone would much prefer not to get to that point to begin with, so now for some basic heat survival tactics.

Clothes -- White or light colors (which reflect sunlight and heat), cotton or other natural (breathable) fibers, loose clothing that allows for air circulation and your skin to breathe, hats and sunglasses. If you must work in the direct sun, long pants and sleeves might be a better alternative than shorts and tank tops to avoid sunburns.

Cooking -- If you must cook inside, use a stove or microwave or toaster over, but don't turn on the oven!!! Better yet, grill outdoors and leave the heat outside. If using the stove, only make quick foods -- things like soup, eggs, etc. But chances are you won't even want hot food. So plan and prepare cold meals -- sandwiches, salads, cheeses with crackers or rolls, fruit and veggies with dips, yogurt, cereal, smoothies, ice cream, jello, and so on. (I lovelovelove vanilla yogurt as a dip for fruits, especially cantaloupe!)

Vehicles -- Check fluids, especially water and top it off if necessary. If you don't have a windshield screen, get one! Try to do your errands in the early morning or after the sun goes down. If you can park in shade, do it -- even if you have to walk farther. The car will stay MUCH cooler. If you can't park in the shade, then try to park with the sun hitting the rear of the car instead of the front of the vehicle. Get a cloth steering wheel cover, or bring oven mitts... steering wheels can get so hot they will literally burn your hands. When you start the car, roll down all the windows and blast the A/C for 10 or 15 seconds, blowing all the hot air out of the car. Roll up the windows and turn the A/C down again.

Exercise or yard work -- If you must do it, do it early in the morning or after the sun sets. And remember the sun is always worse than the heat; meaning that doing anything in the direct sun at 90° is worse than doing something in the shade at 110°. Wear a hat, or get a cooling towel -- yes, they really work! Keep cool water on hand. (I freeze bottles of water to take out with me, they melt as I work and don't get too warm). Consider misters as well -- a simple length of tubing with mister nozzles that attaches to the hose. It's amazing how well they cool an area off.

Pets -- Pets can get too hot too of course. If you cannot bring your pets or other critters indoors, make sure they have deep shade, plenty of water (also in the deep shade), and consider misters for them also. We have a string of misters for some feral cats that hang around our house, but would never ever come inside! Cats can handle heat a little better than dogs, but both are a concern. If possible, leave your grass a little long for the critters to lounge in after the heat of the day. Or put the sprinklers on in the afternoon. I've divided my backyard into six imaginary sections and water a different section every afternoon, so in a week I've watered the whole backyard. Some dogs love a little wading pool. When my kids were little, they shared their pool with the dogs. They loved it! (Those wading pools work for adult kids too
)

Indoors -- Keep shades/drapes closed during the day. If you have leaks around doors/windows, try to seal them up -- even if it's just with duct tape. (1001 uses!!!) Fans won't actually reduce temperatures, but they will make you more comfortable. If you place a bowl of ice in front of the fan, it will cool the air even more. You can also put wet sheets/towels over open windows to cool the air coming in. At night, open the windows (or if you have security doors, open your inside doors), put a fan in front of it and let it blow the hot air out at night while you sleep.

Finally, at the end of a hot and absolutely miserable day, after the sun goes down, take a shower, do NOT dry yourself off or dry your hair, but go outside soaking wet, sit in the cool breeze and air dry... it's heaven.

Anyone else have some good tips? Please continue adding them in the comments!

Good luck and -- dare I say it? -- stay cool


Heat Exhaustion
Heat Stroke: Symptoms and Treatment
20 Tips to Beat the Heat This Summer
23 Ways to Beat the Heat




posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 03:30 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Well done!

Also, lift with your legs and not your back. . . or some such safety stuff.



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 03:31 PM
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Finally, at the end of a hot and absolutely miserable day, after the sun goes down, take a shower, do NOT dry yourself off or dry your hair, but go outside soaking wet, sit in the cool breeze and air dry... it's heaven.
a reply to: Boadicea

I like it go outside naked flaunt it and cool off.



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 03:34 PM
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originally posted by: DBCowboy
a reply to: Boadicea

Well done!

Also, lift with your legs and not your back. . . or some such safety stuff.





I go one step further.. I get the help to do the heavy lifting.

Even more, I just sit in the pool all day long, it helps to keep cool after a hard day watching the help.



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 03:36 PM
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originally posted by: PhilbertDezineck
Finally, at the end of a hot and absolutely miserable day, after the sun goes down, take a shower, do NOT dry yourself off or dry your hair, but go outside soaking wet, sit in the cool breeze and air dry... it's heaven.
a reply to: Boadicea

I like it go outside naked flaunt it and cool off.



You, sir, have never seen my hair after a naked romp in the shower.

I swear it's why the neighbours scream every time I stand there au natural, in the back yard.. get your own ball.



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 03:41 PM
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a reply to: PhilbertDezineck


I like it go outside naked flaunt it and cool off.


Go for it! I never said anyone had to get dressed first



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 03:59 PM
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Even more, I just sit in the pool all day long, it helps to keep cool after a hard day watching the help. a reply to: gallop

I have a pool too its just a kiddo pool I share with my dog.



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 04:35 PM
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My first tip is turn on the damn air conditioning.



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 04:42 PM
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Ex-NFL player Mitch Petrus (32) died of heat stroke yesterday


Mitch Petrus, who played three seasons in the National Football League, passed away on Thursday night at the age of 32.



Petrus died at 10:45 p.m. after being taken to Baptist Health Medical Center-North Little Rock, according to Pulaski County Coroner Gerone Hobbs. The official cause of death was determined to be heat stroke.



The... Temperature reached a high of 101 degrees Fahrenheit in Little Rock, Arkansas, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Courtney Travis. The high temperature of 92 F was in line with historical averages for July in Little Rock.


Please take care in the extreme heat.
This was a former sports star and just 32 y.o.

Link



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 04:53 PM
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Heat is dangerous, but this isn't out of line with what we normally get this time of year. The two problems we're having with it are that it's average temperature heat in a below average temperature year, and that it's been so wet that the humidity is way higher than it normally is in many of these places.

Honestly, the mercury hasn't even cracked 100 here in KC, but the heat index has been the kicker pushing the feel of the air up over 110 thanks to dew points.

I mean as I sit here right now, it's officially 98 which is very hot but not viciously so for this area ... BUT, the heat index is 113 which is vicious. It basically means your body isn't able to cool you through sweat because the sweat doesn't evaporate off instead it just drips.



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 04:55 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Great advice! I will add it is amazing what one ice cube will do. Yesterday, here in southwest Michigan, I was at the cardboard boat rally for 9 hours stuck in the middle of a parking lot! Then from 4-6pm wore a mascot costume dancing around and waving at folks. Talk about hot!

I drank lots of water, but what really cooled me off quick so I could quickly get back into the act, was grabbing one ice cube out of the cooler and rubbing it on both sides of my throat and also on both of my wrists! It truly was amazing how quickly it cooled me down.

Others tried it too and were quite surprised at the difference! Just thought I would add.



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 04:55 PM
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a reply to: Diaspar

Oh wow. Just heartbreaking for his family. It's a tough way to go. Unfortunately, I know.

And why I began with the health dangers, symptoms and treatment. It's so important to understand that heat can be dangerous, even lethal.

Thanks for posting.



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 04:57 PM
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I been known to dunk my head in the rain barrel next to the barn. And when i am in the shop i will dunk my hat into the slag tank, keeping the head cool helps tremendously. I work in front of a forge swinging a hammer, gets a might warm at times.

Stay hydrated with water. Sports drink are ok from time to time but the human body is designed to take water. And not that over filter bottled stuff either. The minerals in the water that are removed are good for you. Eat a small bag of salted potato chips, they are actually quite good for you and will help the body retain water. You can also use salt tablets or Medi-lite tabs. Pedi-lite for infants is also a good source of electrolytes and the like with out all the sugar. If you must drink a pop then go with something clear like a sprite, stay away from coke and dark pops.

Last but not least NO BEER. at least not till the work is done and we are relaxing in the shade.

The blacksmiths air conditioner, step away from the forge.



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 04:57 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Great post!


Another thing I'd add is if you know of any seniors or people with health issues who do not have air conditioning, invite them to stay with you. Check on them often to make sure they are OK. Knock on that elderly neighbors door with a pitcher of iced tea in hand and check on them.
edit on 7/19/2019 by Blaine91555 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 04:58 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Usually people will have a chance to acclimate to the heat over a gradual warmup, but this heat wave spiked up. So even people who normally weather these things because they work outside, etc., are going to be a little stressed by these conditions.



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 05:02 PM
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originally posted by: CynConcepts
a reply to: Boadicea

I drank lots of water, but what really cooled me off quick so I could quickly get back into the act, was grabbing one ice cube out of the cooler and rubbing it on both sides of my throat and also on both of my wrists! It truly was amazing how quickly it cooled me down.

Others tried it too and were quite surprised at the difference! Just thought I would add.


Very true -- thank you for adding that! Especially about the wrists and throat. The center of the chest as well -- right between the ribs -- is another good spot for cooling the torso.

I'm so glad you're being careful and taking care of yourself. I know you're looking at some scorchers this weekend. Think about getting one of those cooling towels too. I think my hubby said they're about $10 (at an industrial supply place... hopefully about the same at Walgreens or something). You could even wear that under the mascot suit.

I'll add one more thing I forgot: Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Both will dehydrate the body.



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 05:07 PM
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a reply to: UncleReamus

Thank you -- all of that is excellent advice and much appreciated!

I will just reaffirm that it's important to keep the head cool. And in this kind of heat, you can dunk your head and be dripping wet and completely dry five minutes later.

And you reminded me of another tip for long hair: Tie it up!!! Ponytails and braids and buns -- whatever keeps the hair off your neck.



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 05:08 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Caffeine can, but it's not as bad as advertised. If you are habituated to it, the diuretic effect from it pretty much goes away until you exceed the amount you are habituated to. So drinking tea, for example, isn't as bad for you unless you are completely caffeine free in your life.

Eat lots of high water content foods: soups, watermelon, cucumbers, etc.



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 05:11 PM
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originally posted by: Blaine91555
a reply to: Boadicea

Great post!


Another thing I'd add is if you know of any seniors or people with health issues who do not have air conditioning, invite them to stay with you. Check on them often to make sure they are OK. Knock on that elderly neighbors door with a pitcher of iced tea in hand and check on them.


Yes -- Thank you!

The elderly are the most at risk from the heat, and often don't have anyone to even check on them, much less take care of them. They can be in great distress fairly quickly. Make sure they have water and other fluids available, some sort of cooling, whatever you can do.



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 05:16 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: Boadicea

Usually people will have a chance to acclimate to the heat over a gradual warmup, but this heat wave spiked up. So even people who normally weather these things because they work outside, etc., are going to be a little stressed by these conditions.


You're right -- and that was one of my concerns prompting me to post. I've seen too many folks online minimizing the impact because for us, "this is what we call summer." But we've been acclimated to it. Throw any of us into Minnesota in the dead of winter and it'd be the same just opposite.




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