Staying Cool in the Dog Days of Summer!

// July 14th, 2012 // Tips for Living

The Dog Days of Summer are the days between July 3 and August 11. They are considered to be the hottest and muggiest days of the entire year in the northern hemisphere. With these days approaching we need to pay special attention to keeping cool and watching ourselves and others for signs of heat illnesses.

Heat related illnesses strike when the body is unable to regulate its temperature and cannot properly cool itself by sweating.

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The chart, compliments of New York State Department of Health, gives you a quick and easy idea of what to watch for and what to do for each particular emergency.

Hopefully no one will ever get to the point of needing the information on this chart. However, there are certain groups of individuals who are more at risk in extreme heat. The following lists give a good idea who we should be watching out for as soon at the heat hits.
1. Young children
2. Older adults
3. People working or exercising in the heat
4. Those with respiratory, lung or heart problems
5. People who do not perspire much
6. Overweight or Obese individuals

Here are a few hints to keep everyone cool and safe this season.
1. Drink fluids! Water is great, sports drinks like Gatorade help balance out your electrolytes.
Adults need 17 – 20 ounces of water before beginning an activity, followed by an additional 7 – 10 ounces every 10 – 20 minutes during the activity …. AND then another 24 ounces of fluids within the first 2 hours after the activity.
Children need 4-8 ounces of fluids before beginning outdoor activities. Then they need 5 -9 ounces every 20 minutes while outside. Once they come in they also need to drink 24 ounces of fluids within the next 2 hours.
Note: Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks!
2. Wear light colored and loose fitting clothes.
3. Stay in the shade as much as possible.
4. Wear sunscreen.
5. Take regular breaks in air conditioning or in the shade, from work or play.
6. Never leave children, the infirm or pets in the car on hot days.
7. If you see your children getting flush while out playing, stop the activity and cool them down.

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