Summer has arrived

With another round of hot temperatures on the way it’s a good time to keep an eye on the weather.

Here are a few reminders on safety and keeping cool. Add your own tips & advice for neighbors in the comments.

  • If you don’t have air conditioning opening all the windows at night when it starts to cool off and closing them first thing in the morning, and drawing the shades during the day to can really help to keep the house cool.
  • Fans help to pull cool air inside at night and push the hot air out – create a wind tunnel through your house with a fan facing in on the cool side and one facing out on the other side of the house.
  • During the day fans can help you feel cooler by blowing on your skin, but they don’t actually change the air temperature at all, so using too many can actually heat up the house with their motors.
  • Try to do run the dishwasher, laundry and do cooking during the coolest parts of the day to keep your cool longer.

What to do and not do when the mercury rises:

  • DO – Slow down, and reduce strenuous activity. Mow the lawn or garden in the early morning or late evening instead of midday.
  • DO – Dress in lightweight, nonrestrictive, light-colored clothing.
  • DO – Drink plenty of water or other nonalcoholic fluids.
  • DO – Eat light, easy-to-digest foods.
  • DO – Seek out shade if you have to be outdoors for extended periods. Spend more time in air-conditioned places.
  • DO – Check on elderly neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure they are okay.
  • DO – When outside, take frequent dips in the water (Shotgun Creek swimming hole anyone?), or mist yourself with a water bottle or the hose. When inside, take frequent cool baths or showers and use cold compresses to cool off. The back of the neck can be really helpful.
  • DO – Apply high-SPF sunscreen frequently when outdoors.
  • DO – Seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms of heat illness. (See chart below for symptoms, likely conditions and treatment.)

And remember:

  • DO NOT leave children, the elderly, or pets in the car for any reason, for any length of time. A dark dashboard or seat can easily reach temperatures in the range of 180 to more than 200 degrees F!
  • DO NOT stay in the sun for long periods.
  • DO NOT take salt tablets unless directed by a physician.
  • AVOID alcoholic beverages; they can dehydrate you and increase your risk of heat stroke and other potentially fatal heat-related illnesses.

And if it just gets too darn hot – find cool indoor places to spend time on hot summer days, such as a local library, shopping mall,  museum or the movies.

What works for you? Share your tips in the comments.