Extreme heat can be deadly. It is the number one killer in the United States. Heat affects the body’s ability to regulate its temperature and can cause heat-related illnesses. Sweat is the body’s natural cooling defense, but high humidity prevents it from evaporating quickly, resulting in a rapid rise in body temperature. Here are some tips on how to survive extreme heat. Make sure you are well-hydrated.
Keeping cool is vital for everyone. People who don’t have air conditioning are particularly at risk. The European heatwave of 2003 killed 50,000 people and caused EUR13 billion in damages. As our climate changes, so do the regions of the world without air conditioning. In the years to come, we can expect more heat waves and hot days than ever before. We need to prepare ourselves and our families for these events.
Fortunately, modern buildings can be designed to keep heat out and cool people inside. New materials are available to keep out heat, and advanced heat modeling techniques are enabling buildings to resist high temperatures. The best way to avoid getting too hot is to limit the amount of sunlight entering the building. A properly-insulated roof and wall system will keep the inside temperature at a manageable level. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your building will be as comfortable as possible in extreme heat.
Consider adding air conditioning in your house. Even if you live in a cool climate, heat waves can strike without warning. If you don’t live in an area with temperate temperatures, surviving extreme heat can be a challenge. Follow the steps below to keep yourself cool and comfortable during heat waves. Make sure your air filters are clean. Dirty air filters are an additional source of resistance to air conditioners. The air filter will also reduce air flow and prevent air conditioning from working properly.
The temperatures are soaring in many cities, and even Portland, Oregon, reached 116 degrees Monday. Boise, Seattle, and Reno are all experiencing triple digits. Even when temperatures don’t reach the triple digits, drinking enough water is essential to overall health. Water keeps joints lubricated and prevents infections, while also improving sleep quality, cognition, perception, and mood. For this reason, leading hydration experts offer tips to stay hydrated.
The first rule of survival in the heat is to drink as much water as possible. A full cup of water contains approximately eight ounces of water, and a half-cup is enough for a child. Drinking water to survive extreme heat is essential to avoid heatstroke, which can damage organs and cause death. Heat can also worsen certain medical conditions. To prevent these complications, plan ahead and be prepared for hot days. During the hottest part of the day, plan ahead by following these tips and making a good start.
During intense heat, your body needs to replenish fluids that it loses through sweat. Your body’s metabolism helps regulate temperature, so it needs water to stay cool. The body’s 2.6 million sweat glands produce fluids to help regulate temperature. To replace the fluid lost during physical activity, you need to drink more water than your body weight. According to the U.S. National Research Council, an average person should drink eight to ten eight-ounce glasses of water each day, or about half of their body weight.
In addition to drinking more water, you should also consume other liquids to stay hydrated. Alcohol, soda, and soft drinks can be dehydrating, and your body needs water to process these refined sugars. It is also a poor choice for hydration during a heat wave. A good rule of thumb is to drink as much water as you can, but don’t overdo it! If you’re not sure what to drink, try these tips for a healthy and enjoyable day outdoors.
Avoiding strenuous outdoor activities
One of the most important tips for surviving extreme heat is to avoid strenuous outdoor activities. Limit your outdoor activity to the coolest hours of the day and rest in shady areas when possible. Also, learn to recognize the signs of heat illness, such as cramps and muscle spasms. Remove any extra clothing you’re wearing and drink plenty of liquids. This will help you to avoid the danger of heat stroke.
In addition to the health benefits of resting, it’s important to stay safe from the deadly effects of extreme heat. The CDC estimates that over 600 people in the United States die from heat-related illnesses every year. Those at greatest risk include people age 65 and older, people with chronic health conditions, people who work outdoors, and athletes. The most important safety tips for surviving extreme heat include avoiding strenuous outdoor activities and staying indoors.
To combat the dangers of extreme heat, remember to drink plenty of water, wear natural fibers, and avoid alcohol or caffeine. Alcohol and caffeine dehydrate the body, making it difficult to stay hydrated. Never leave children or the elderly in a hot car. Even 60 degrees outdoors can become 110 degrees inside the vehicle. Similarly, keep your pets in a shady place where they can rest and find shade.
Avoiding leaving children or pets in a closed vehicle
If you’re heading out on an errand, don’t forget to check your vehicle for children or pets inside. While the inside of a vehicle can reach 109 degrees in 10 minutes, it can get hotter. Even a car that only gets a few degrees hotter than the outside temperature can lead to heatstroke in children or even death. The best way to prevent this situation is to keep your passengers out of the vehicle and make sure you have them with you at all times. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app for free to ensure you’re always alert and in control.
While it might seem safe to leave your pets or children in the car for a few minutes to cool off, you should not do this. Children can suffer from heatstroke in a matter of minutes, and pets can become ill or even die. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, heatstroke is one of the leading causes of death among children. According to San Francisco State University’s Department of Geosciences, 44 children died of heatstroke in hot cars in 2013.
Remember that even if you have the best intentions, you never know when disaster strikes. Leaving children or pets in a closed vehicle may result in death or irreparable damage to a pet’s organs. If you’re unsure of what to do in such a situation, remember to write down the information of the car to help find them. Using this information, businesses can help reunite owners and their lost pets.
When you’re working outside, avoid overexertion. Avoid doing physical activity between 11 am and 6 pm. Take hourly breaks, ideally in a shaded area. And, don’t forget to wear light-weight clothing that wicks away heat. Having proper protection from the heat is vital for your survival. If you’re working at extreme temperatures, you might experience sudden and unexplained muscle pain.
Overexertion injuries are relatively common in the trade, service, and transportation industries, and are often the result of excessive physical exertion. It’s important to listen to your body, learn when you’re overextended, and always be aware of your limitations. Using incorrect posture and space can increase your risk of injury. Do not lift or carry items that you’re not used to carrying.
While physical activity provides health benefits, overexertion during extreme heat may be dangerous even for healthy people. Before participating in extreme heat, consult your physician to determine if your medical conditions increase your risk of getting sick. Overexertion can lead to heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and even death. Avoiding overexertion during extreme heat can prevent heat-related illnesses, which include symptoms such as excessive sweating, muscle cramps, a rash, dizziness, and headache. If you experience any of these symptoms, drink plenty of liquids to stay cool and avoid dehydration.