There’s no doubt that the Dog Days of Summer on upon us and the Oreland Volunteer Fire Company would like our friends and neighbors to be mindful that high temperatures cause heat related illnesses and cause hundreds of deaths in the United States each year. Take steps to make sure you and your loved ones stay cool and hydrated.
There are a number of factors that affect your body’s ability to cool itself, including age, obesity, heart disease, poor circulation, hydration, sunburn, prescription drugs and alcohol use. High humidity also comes into play because sweat doesn’t evaporate as quickly and that can prevent your body from releasing heat as fast as it needs to.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends taking the following steps to prevent heat-related illnesses, injuries and death during hot weather:
• Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as possible.
• Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty.
• Schedule outdoor activities carefully.
• Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and sunscreen.
• Pace yourself.
• Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
• Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.
• Never leave children or pets in cars.
• Check the local news for health and safety updates.
Also, please check on friends and neighbors, particularly the elderly, to make sure they are taking steps to stay cool. The elderly often feel vulnerable and have a tendency to close windows that should be left open when air conditioning is not available. Using a fan in a sealed-up house without air-conditioning will only make the situation worse by creating a convection effect.