We have always heard the saying, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity!” Well it is actually both, and since this past Saturday, June 21st was the day that Summer truly began- here at iSS we just want to take a moment to talk about some safety tips to beat the heat this year.
First safety tip is to think about you. Sometimes the best and simplest tip if it is too hot outside is to stay cool inside. Spending time in an air conditioned space for a couple of hours can significantly reduce the risk of heat-related illness. Just remember electric fans do not cool, they just blow hot air around. If you are going to be outside, remember to dress for the heat. Wear loose-fitting, light-weight, light colored clothing can reflect heat and sunlight and help maintain body temperature.
Always wear sunscreen and try to protect your face and head by wearing a hat. Also, drink for the heat and not drink in the heat. I know the BBQ’s and pool parties are going on during this time of the year, but by drinking plenty of water even if you do not feel thirsty can help your body retain some of your body fluids. By drinking in the heat, alcohol and caffeinated beverages can further dehydrate the body. Lastly, the best times for outdoor activities are during the early morning and late evening hours.
Second safety tip is to think about others. Of course this is a no-brainer, but please do not leave children in a closed vehicle even for a few minutes. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach up to 190 degrees! When outdoors, protect children as much as possible from the sun. Their skin is more sensitive than ours. Also, protect your pets from the heat. It ‘feels’ as hot for them as it does for you. Be sure your animals have access to shade a few bowls of ice cold water.
Third safety tip is to think about your environment. Protecting windows by hanging shades, awnings, draperies, etc. that receives morning or afternoon sun can reduce heat entering the house by as much as 80%. Also try to keep lights off and the air conditioning to one cool temperature. This helps to not constantly turn the A/C unit up and down or completely off causing it to freeze up on you.
A fourth tip is to think specifically about pool safety. It is hot and you want to cool down, what better way to do that in a big pool. To protect yourself and others always apply sunscreen every time you get out of the water and wait at least fifteen minutes before going back into the water. This ensures you will not have a horrible sun burn and constantly apply that aloe. Also, to make sure no one is not supposed to be near the pool, confirm that your fencing is secured tightly and water alarms are ready to go off if a child or even a pet my get into the pool without your awareness. Be sure to never have glass or children running around the pool.
The final tip for some summer safety is fire awareness. This year in East Tennessee we are down about six inches of rain, making us more acceptable to dryness and fires starting. If you are planning to do fireworks this year or having those late night bonfires be sure to keep water accessible to quickly put a fire out. Especially using fireworks, please supervise children so they do not burn themselves or start a fire. Furthermore, make sure children are a safe distance away from the bonfire and not playing with the fire. We all know how curious children can be!
Hope these simple safety tips remind everyone to be safe but have some good fun this summer!