When the mercury's rising to all-time, record-breaking highs, staying safe and cool becomes a priority for everyone. While young children, the elderly and people who are ill are at the most risk, it's smart no matter your status to follow some key strategies.
Dehydration is one of the major health risks during a heat wave, so be sure to drink plenty of cold fluids. Water is your best choice, but you can opt for fruit juice too. What you want to avoid are beverages that dehydrate you, and this includes coffee, tea and alcohol.
Avoid the sun, especially during its peak hours of 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., and if you're at home, pull down the shades to prevent sunlight and heat from warming up your home. This may mean you won't get to enjoy a breeze coming through your windows, but once the sun's gone down for the day, pull up the blinds to let the breeze in.
Keep your body temp down by taking a cool shower or bath. If you have access to a pool, even better. For in between showers, keep an atomizer of water in your fridge and spritz your face or body to stay cool.
Head to the air-conditioned mall or even to your office for a break from the heat if you don't have air conditioning at home. Do you have friends with central air and a guest room? See if you can stay at their place until the heat wave is over. If you live in a home with a finished basement, sleep there temporarily until the heat wave has passed, as basements are typically cooler than higher levels of a house. Your kids might even find it fun to have the whole family camping out together in the basement.
Think about your circle of friends and family, and make sure to check in on those who might be at risk during a heat wave. If you're the lucky one with the air-conditioned home, invite them to stay with you during the heat wave.
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