LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As the summer sun bears down on us resulting in high temperatures and humidity, it’s important to monitor your health and stay safe during the heat. Our bodies, however, struggle more to cool down when not only is it hot but also humid air conditions.
Our bodies get hot, and we begin to sweat as a result of our bodies trying to cool down. Evaporation is a cooling process, so if the sweat cannot evaporate, the body won’t regulate its temperature. When humid air is present, it’s harder for the moisture on one’s body to evaporate because the air is already saturated. Therefore, the human body will feel warmer in humid conditions because less evaporative cooling is taking place.
Tip to Beat the Heat:
- drink plenty of water – avoid sugary drinks, caffeine and alcoholic beverages
- wear loose-fitting, light colored and lightweight clothing
- use sunscreen for time spent outdoors (sunburn reduces the body’s ability to cool down)
- keep shades drawn and blinds closed inside during the day and use air conditioning when available
- take cool baths or showers
- do not leave children or pets in a closed vehicle
- provide extra water and access to a cool environment for pets
As the body temperature rises, you could experience a heat-related illness such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke. To prevent serious heat-related illness or death, children and pets should never be left alone in a vehicle. The same can be said for persons with pre-existing health conditions and the elderly.
According to PETA, a dog can die from heat stroke in a car within minutes, even if the car is in the shade with the windows slightly opened. It’s best to keep animals indoors during high heat conditions.
To learn more about heat-related illnesses, how to distinguish symptoms and decide what actions to take to alleviate the health issue, click HERE.