AARP Eye Center
As summer heats up, it's important to stay cool to keep yourself safe and healthy. Below is a list of ten easy ways to keep you on your feet and active without suffering from the heat. And always remember to check in on elderly relatives and neighbors on especially hot days. The older we get, the more sensitive we become to extreme heat, effects such as heat stroke and dehydration can be deadly.
1. Drink water – Hydration is critical to prevent heat related illnesses. Remember, keep drinking throughout the day; do not wait until you are sweating or thirsty to drink. Also, keep in mind that caffeinated beverages and alcohol have the opposite effect and tend to dehydrate you.
2. Stay in the shade – Staying out of direct sunlight helps prevent sunburns and heat exhaustion. So feel free to enjoy yourself outside, but when you start getting hot, find a place to rest in the shade.
3. Schedule around the heat – Avoid going outside during the hottest hours of the day. Instead, when you can, go out in the early morning or late evening when it is cooler.
4. Have a BBQ – Cook your food outside. This allows you to enjoy grilled food and not let your house get too hot from cooking inside.
5. Close the curtains – Keeping blinds and shade closed helps cool your house down by diffusing hot sunlight.
6. Use fans and air conditioners – Use both tools together. Fans help circulate the air and provide a direct cooling effect, while air conditioners help remove humidity and cool down the house. They can work together to keep your home comfortable.
7. Wear white – White and light colored clothing keep you cool by reflecting sunlight. Dark colors absorb the sunlight, making you hotter in the process.
8. Squirt yourself – Kids have the right idea when they play with water guns. Use a spray bottle to help apply direct relief.
9. Maintain your A/C – Keep your air conditioner running efficiently and properly by making sure that the filters are changed regularly – about once a month during the summer – and that the system is checked for cracks and leaks. By keeping your air conditioner in good shape, you will more effectively stay cool and save money in the process.
10. Think before you fan – Often people assume that the best way to use a fan is it to point it into the room. However, when the temperature outside the house is cooler than it is inside the house, it can be more efficient to point the fan out so that it pulls in cool air and expels the hot air.
During these summer months, have fun and enjoy the nice weather, but be careful. If you do not feel well, make sure to cool down and drink water. These ten tips can help you stay safe and happy throughout the summer.