Monday, July 1, 2013
It’s been warm over the weekend, but it’s supposed to get hot — as in record-breaking, sweat-inducing hot — today.
Weather forecasters have looked into their crystal balls to see temperatures between 103 and 108. So even if the most cautious of the forecasters is correct, the mercury would smash the record high for this day of 99 set in 1987.
And the record-breaking heat is expected to continue. The high for July 2, 103 set in 1967, could fall.
This heat wave has come on suddenly, so most of us (and our pets) are not fully acclimated to handle triple-digit temps.
Most folks tolerate the heat relatively well as hot weather is a regular summer occurrence, but some people are put in jeopardy of heat stroke or other heat-related problems. The problems can lead to serious problems, even death.
Everybody, even those who view themselves as heat-resistant, should take reasonable precaution. It starts with using old-fashioned common sense.
You know the drill — drink more fluids, wear lightweight, light-colored clothing and stay out of the heat.
The chance of everybody using good judgment to avoid hit problems is about as likely as everybody obeying the city ordinance banning high-flying fireworks — that would be zero.
Therefore, here are a few tips from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Take a cool shower or bath is a much better way to cool off than using electric fans. When the temperature is above the high 90s fans will not prevent heat-related illness.
If you must be out in the heat, limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage.
Try to rest often in shady areas.
Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).
And, as a reminder, do not forget about looking out for your pet. Dogs and cats need water, too (but you can pass on the sun screen, sun glasses and sports drinks for Rover and Fluffy).