It was a hot one - and it will be again

REMEMBER FIVE OR SIX months ago when everyone was saying they wished it would get warmer?

As the old saying goes, sometimes you need to be careful what you wish for – you just might get it, and then some.

It certainly felt that way last week, as we were blistered by a heat wave and humidity that had plenty of people saying they couldn’t wait for it to get cold again.

Which means that six or seven months from now, there will be a chorus of ‘I can’t wait for it to warm up again.’

For most of us, the heat and humidity proved to be just another annoyance that could be dealt with with air conditioning, lots of fluids and reduced activity.

But those who had to work outside or couldn’t avoid the weather, it required extra caution and care.

Fortunately, things have cooled off – at least relatively – and should stay so for the foreseeable future.

But summer’s not gone completely, and there’s a good chance high heat and humidity will return. If they do, everyone needs to be ready for it.

The American Red Cross provides the following tips for dealing with heat emergencies:

• If someone does not have air conditioning, they should choose air conditioned public places to get relief from the heat during the hottest part of the day, such as schools, libraries, theaters or malls.

• Temperatures inside a vehicle quickly reach dangerous levels. Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.

• People should stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if they aren’t thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.

• During the heat, it’s best to eat small meals and eat more often.

• Avoid extreme temperature changes.

• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.

• Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.

• Postpone outdoor games and activities.

• Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.

• If someone must work outdoors, they should take frequent breaks.

• Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.

• Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.

And through it all, remember that it will eventually pass – and before we know it, we’ll be shoveling snow instead of complaining about the heat - and wishing that it would get warmer outside again.

At issue:
High heat and humidity
Bottom line:
Deal with it sensibly

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