Let's face it, 4th of July weekend is coming up around the corner and many Chicagoans are ready to enjoy a Barbeque! With heat rising and ozone levels at critical levels, it is improtant for the elderly and small children to avoid excessive heat. Not surprisingly, high on the list of people whom suffer more heat paralysis are those whom are considered obese.
While this may be true, small children and people over the age of 65 are more prone to heat exhaustion overall; however, because fat in a natural insulator which stores heat, those who carry excessive amount of extra core weight, tend to dehydrate and overheat faster than any other group of people.
With U.S. summers extending and becoming hotter than previous years as well as the rise in dust, mold, pollen and ragweed, it becomes increasingly hard for people to stay cool let alone hydrated in the summertime.
Between heat exhaustion, heat stroke and heat cramps, how can someone stay hydrated and healthy during a heat wave? Also, what should individuals do in situations where they are exposed to excessive heat for prolonged periods of time? Here are five key tips to stay cool during the 4th of July week/weekend:
1.) Always stay in a cool environment. If you have air-conditioning, it would be highly advisable to turn on the AC during the heat wave. Sure it may cost you an arm and a leg, but rather that, then your health or worst, your life. (If your home or apartment does not come equipped with AC, make sure to keep the house well ventilated and invest in a decent cooling fan.
2.) It is imperative that those considered elderly, obese or have young children, should focus on staying hydrated at all times and reduce the meals you intake. Try switching your friend chicken for a grilled chicken salad.
[Not everyone can afford to buy water bottles by the case every other day, so opt for BPA free water bottles and refill as needed.]
3.) Stay in shaded or covered areas if you have to be outside.
4.) Avoid doing outdoor or strenuous activities after 12 p.m. that is when the temperatures are at their highest, after all there’s nothing cute about passing out from heat exhaustion.
5.) Make sure to keep it light! If you’re going outside always make sure to wear lightweight and light clothing. Darker, heavier clothes attract heat and can affect the body’s core temperature by spiking it to dangerous levels.