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We're Having A Heat Wave

We're Having A Heat Wave

A friend who is an ER nurse once told me that 80% of people who wind up in the ER are dehydrated. This is not always the cause for their hospital visit, but it can dangerously exacerbate some existing conditions and be life-threatening in others. 

  The Red Cross has these recommendations for staying safe in this heat


  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.
  • If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should choose places to go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls)

  • Remember if you can't access an air-conditioned environment fans work!

    Writing for Wired Rhett Allain wrote in Why Fans Don't Always Make Things Cooler:

    "There is one key ingredient for a fan to do its job — liquid water. This is all about evaporation. When liquid water turns into gas water (water vapor), this takes energy and the energy comes from the rest of the liquid water. The result is that the remaining liquid water gets colder. Evaporation cools off water. 

    For humans, we call this liquid water "sweat". Fans need sweat to cool off a human. When air moves quickly over liquid water, it increases the evaporation rate. More evaporation means cooler liquid sweat and a cooler human."

    And another quick and easy trick is to know your body. Whitson Gordon wrote for Lifehacker: Know Your Body's Quick Cooling Spots


    Original diagram by RexxS.

    "You've probably heard that you can pour water over your wrists or neck to cool off quickly, but we've got the lowdown on all the body's best cooling spots, as well as the most effective ways to use them. This works because where you can feel your pulse, your blood vessels are close to the surface of your skin. Your neck and wrists are not the only pulse points on your body (though your neck is arguably one of the most effective). While the forehead is commonly used as a cooling spot, the pulse point on your head is actually closer to your temple and the area just in front of your ear." The insides of your elbows and knees are two other common pressure points, as well as the tops of your feet and insides of your ankle (near the area where your ankle bone sticks out)."

    That's why it cools you down to have your legs in a pool from the knees down!

    Take it Easy in the Heat and Have a Cool Safe and Happy Summer!



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