12 Things NOT to Do in the Summer Heat
When the thermometer climbs over 80 degrees F, you can easily
become fatigued just from being outside in the heat. Once
the temperature rises above 90 degrees -- a common occurrence
during the dog days of summer in the United States -- you're
at a very real risk
for sunstroke, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
Light-colored, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing
is the rule for keeping cool in the summer heat.
In terms of its potential to harm you, only the cold
of winter poses a greater threat than the summer heat,
according to the National Weather Service, so knowing how
to keep cool is essential to your, and your family's safety.
This summer, here are the top things that you should AVOID
doing to beat the summer heat.
Don't let yourself get thirsty. Staying
hydrated helps to keep your body cool. You should
drink regularly throughout the day, even if you don't
Don't drink too much alcohol. It will cause your body
to lose water.
Don't eat heavy meals. Eating heavier foods, like protein,
increases your metabolic heat production causing your
body to lose more water. Stick with cool, light meals
like salads, raw veggies and dip, crackers and cheese,
or fruit and a little peanut butter. (Plus, eating cold
meals means you don't have to heat up the house by using
Don't spend too much time in the sun. Not only are sunny
areas hotter than shady ones, but if you get sunburned
your body will have a harder time dissipating the heat.
Don't stay in places with no air conditioning. Air conditioning
drastically reduces heat dangers, even if you're only
in it periodically. If you don't have air conditioning
at home, go to a public place (libraries, movie theaters,
shopping malls) or cooling center that does. A cool bath
or shower can also help (but electric fans will not prevent
heat-related illness if the temperature is in the upper
90s or above).
Don't exercise or do strenuous activities during the
hottest part of the day. Your body can easily become overloaded
and unable to function. Ideally, you should only do strenuous
outdoor activities when the heat index is below 80 degrees.
Make sure children and pets are getting plenty of water
regularly throughout the long days of summer.
Don't leave children or pets in cars. On a hot, sunny
day, temperatures inside a parked car can rise more than
30 degrees per minute -- even with open windows, according
to the U.S. Humane Society. Leaving children or pets inside
can quickly become deadly.
Don't push yourself. If you've been outside and begin
to have muscle spasms, heavy sweating, fatigue, nausea
or weakness, it's past time to take a break. When it's
hot outside, you need to rest more often, take frequent
cooling breaks (inside in air conditioning) and drink
plenty of water.
Don't drink lots of caffeine or sugary drinks. Like
alcohol, these will cause your body to lose water.
Don't wear dark-colored, tight or heavy clothes. Light-colored,
loose-fitting clothing made of lightweight materials will
help you stay cool.
Don't use salt tablets (unless you've been instructed
to do so by a physician).
Don't leave the elderly or pets unattended. Be sure
to check on elderly neighbors to make sure they are keeping
cool, and provide plenty of cool water, air conditioning
and shade for pets that will be left alone for the day.
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