Don’t get burned: Tips for beating this week’s triple-digit heat

The cruel mistress beating down upon us.

News flash, Villagers: It’s hot.

Like, really, really, oppressively hot.

And it’s going to stay this way for…well, a lot longer than I’d like. The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for much of the entire state through the end of the week. The most recent forecast calls for the temperatures to top out at — sit down before you read this — 106 degrees on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

So, with lots of Fourth of July festivities planned for the out of doors tomorrow, we figured it’s probably worth passing along a li’l public service announcement about how to keep yourself safe from the heat. Here are the CDC’s tips for preventing heat-related illness:

  • Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  • Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
  • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
  • Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on: Infants and young children; people aged 65 or older; people who have a mental illness; those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure
  • Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

Stay cool and safe out there, Villagers!