Thursday, June 28, 2018

Hot Dog! (Beating the Heat this Summer)

After what seemed to be an endless, frigid winter it now seems silly to complain about being too hot. But here we are, just barely into the official dog days of summer and I am already sick of being a stuffy, sweaty, hot mess with hair that has a mind of its own! As hot days become more frequent stay cool, stay hydrated and stay informed!

Safety First

Heat safety is important no matter who you are, but the following groups should be extra cautious when the temperature rises: older adults (65+), infants & children, those with chronic conditions, those in low income areas, athletes, those who work outdoors, and our pets! Learn the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness and check your local news for extreme heat alerts.

  • Drink plenty of fluids before you are thirsty, no matter how active you are. As you sweat you will need to replenish the fluids your body has lost.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages or those high in sugar as they will cause you to lose more body fluid.
  • Don’t forget about your pets! Make sure they have plenty of water, and leave it in a shady area to encourage them to take a break from the sun.

Beat the Heat

  • Stay in air-conditioned areas as much as possible. Going stir crazy? Check out what’s happening at your public library or do some window shopping at the mall.
  • Avoid hot and heavy meals. They add unnecessary heat to our bodies - not to mention the heat ovens and stoves give off!
  • Limit outdoor activities to the times of the day that are typically cooler (i.e. early morning or evening).
  • Apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher before heading outside. Sunburns affect the body’s ability to cool itself down. “Broad Spectrum” sunscreens or those marked “UVA/UVB” work best.
  • Choose lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.


NEVER leave infants, children or pets inside a parked car! Even with the windows cracked a car will quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures. Remember to #checkforbaby!

  • Leave one of your shoes in the back seat with baby. When you get out of the car you won’t get far before you realize you are missing a shoe!

  • Leave a stuffed animal in the car seat. When you put baby in move it to the front seat where it is visible.

  • Leave an item you won’t forget, such as your purse, wallet or cell phone in the back seat.

Wishing you and your family (both the two and four legged variety) a fun, memorable and safe summer!

Molly Flynn, Senior Public Health Educator
Division of Health Planning and Promotion