Stay safe in the heat.
Yesterday was a scorcher in the mid-west. My cars outside thermometer registered 101° F in the afternoon. Thankfully, my days tasks were indoors, and not out, as they frequently are during the summer. This kind of heat can be dangerous. But there are a few steps I take to help lessen the effects of such overwhelming sun and heat.
- Wear sunscreen. The sun may not even feel hot some days, but it can cause real damage to your skin.
- Wear long sleeves to protect your arms from the sun. All old-timers no this. You wouldn’t catch either of my grandfather’s out in the mid-day sun in short sleeves.
- Wear as much white as possible. Some days I am in the direct sun for hours- literally making hay while the sun is shining. As an experiment I dressed completely in white; from the top of my white hat, to the tips of my white leather gloves (I know right), all the way down to my white tennis shoes. The difference was so amazing, that I continue to do this every time I must spend the day in the field.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat. This is another thing that all old-timers wore. Keeping the sun off of your face helps protect it from the sun’s harmful UV.
- Get a cheap car windshield visor to help keep the sun from heating up your car, and breaking down the plastic in its interior.
- If possible, crack your car window, even a very small crack in the window will let your vehicle vent some of its heated air. I spent a couple of years in Phoenix. It made a real difference if I forgot to crack my windows before leaving my car in the parking lot all day. Ouch.
- Keep a cooler in your car. My mother never left home without one. And if your drive to the grocery store takes more than 15 minutes, it’s good to have one available for those perishable groceries.
- Get hydrated before you go out. No. Coffee is not a hydrating liquid. Water is a hydrating liquid. Coffee has water. But it also has caffeine. Which causes your kidneys to pull more water from your body.
- Keep water in your vehicle or with you. And drink some during the day. Heat stroke, caused by a lack of water in your system. Can come on quick and without warning.
- Pre-freeze a large water bottle. My grandfather kept half-filled milk jugs frozen in the deep-freeze. And he always took one with us when we’d be out for hours in the hot sun. He kept it slung over his tractor fender with a piece of bailing twine. That’s a great summer memory…But I keep mine in a cooler.
- Plan your day to avoid the hottest part of the day. If you can, get up early to do your outdoor activities…or at least those in the direct sunlight.
I’m always interested in learning from my readers. What are some of the lessons you’ve learned to help ‘beat-the-heat’?
So be careful out there during these hot days.
And remember to take the next step…
For more helpful tips to limit the dangers of the extreme heat, visit https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heattips.html.