On May 21st, the heat index (a measure of how hot it really feels outside–taking into account humidity and temperature), hit 112 in Miami. This prompted the National Weather Service to issue its first heat advisory in May in at least 15 years.

Monkeys have been dropping dead amid scorching heat in Mexico.

Rates of ER visits for conditions related to heat rose substantially in many parts of the U.S. last summer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Weather experts are again predicting above-normal temperatures in much of the country this summer. These rising temperatures can put many at risk for heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

This issue of The Flame shares some tips to ‘beat the heat’ and keep those at risk safe and healthy.

— Betty Long, RN, MHA, President/CEO, Guardian Nurses Health Advocates


Keeping Cool in the Summer Heat

As temperatures rise, it’s essential to keep cool and comfortable. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, hitting the beach, or just trying to survive your daily routine, consider these tips and tricks to beat the heat.

1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Don’t wait ’til your thirsty. Make sure your pets and your elders have plenty of water available, too.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption, as they can dehydrate you.
  • If your urine is dark yellow, drink more!

2. Dress for the heat

  • Opt for lightweight, loose-fitting, and light-colored clothing. Fabrics like cotton and linen are breathable and can help keep you cool.
  • Don’t forget to wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.

3. Stay indoors during peak sun hours

  • If possible, schedule outdoor activities in the early morning or late evening when the sun is less intense.
  • Keep your curtains or blinds closed during the day to block out direct sunlight and keep your home cooler.

4. Take cool showers or baths

  • A quick cold shower or a dip in a cool bath can help lower your body temperature and provide instant relief from the heat.

5. Use fans and air conditioning wisely

  • Position fans strategically to create a cross breeze in your home.
  • If you have air conditioning, set it to a comfortable temperature and use fans to help circulate the cool air.

6. Eat light and cool meals

  • Enjoy snacks like watermelon, cucumbers, and berries.
  • Opt for light meals that are easy to digest, like salads and cold soups, to avoid feeling sluggish in the heat.

7. Stay informed about heat advisories

  • Keep an eye on weather forecasts and heat advisories in your area. Take precautions and avoid strenuous outdoor activities when temperatures are extreme.

8. Stay cool with Do-It-Yourself (DIY) tricks

  • Place a bowl of ice in front of a fan for a DIY air conditioner.
  • Freeze a damp washcloth and use it as a cold compress to cool down quickly.

9. Protect yourself from the sun

  • Apply sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
  • Seek shade whenever possible, especially during the hottest parts of the day.

10. Listen to your body

  • Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, such as dizziness, nausea, and headaches. If you start feeling unwell, seek shade, drink water, and cool down immediately.

Remember, staying cool in the heat is essential for your health and well-being. So, whether you’re soaking up the sun or seeking refuge indoors, use these tips to beat the heat.



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