Summer officially begins next week but the weather in Louisville is already reaching the 90 degree mark with a heat index of over 100 degrees. As the temperature increases so does the risk of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. During the summer months it is important to stay cool while enjoying the weather. So here are 10 tips for staying cool this summer:
1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! Drink plenty of WATER. Avoid alcohol and caffeine consumption which can dehydrate the body. Water replenishes fluid loss due to sweating. Not a big fan of water? Try adding a slice of lemon. Other alternative liquids for keeping cool are a nice cold glass of lemonade or ice tea.
2. Wear light, cool, clothing. Tanks, shorts, flip flops or thong sandals, and light colored clothing helps keep the body cool.
3. Take a frequent showers or a dip in the pool. Immersing your body in cool water helps to reduce your body temperature and helps to prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
4. Reserve outdoor exercise and strenuous activity for cooler temperatures. Daily temperatures tend to be the highest between 11:00 a.m. and 2 p.m. so it is best to wait until the temperature cools before engaging in outdoor activities such as jogging, raking the leaves, or gardening. If you must work outside in the warmer temps, take frequent breaks, find some shade, and see Tip #1.
5. Wear sunscreen. Sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher will prevent sunburn. If you plan on going to the beach or to a pool, look for a waterproof sunscreen or reapply your regular sunscreen after taking a dip.
6. Wear a hat, shades, or both. Sun hats, visors, and caps minimize sun exposure and help you keep cool. Shades also help protect your eyes from the sun. So find a fashionable hat and a nice pair of shades to keep cool and look cool in this summer.
7. Do not leave children or pets in the car not even with the windows cracked and you are just running in the store for a minute. Cars and trucks can reach temperatures as high as 108 degrees in a matter of minutes.
8. Take extra precaution in making sure young children and elderly family, friends, and neighbors stay cool during the summer. Children and the elderly are more vulnerable to heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
9. Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Symptoms of heat exhaustion are cool, damp or flushed skin, excessive sweating, headache, nausea or vomiting, and/or dizziness with close to normal body temperatures. The symptoms of heat stroke are red, hot skin, disorientation or variations in consciousness, rapid, weak pulse, and rapid shallow breathing accompanied by a marked increase in body temperature.
10. See Tips 1 – 9 and enjoy staying cool this summer.