Fifteen Ways to Beat the Heat if you don’t have air conditioning or can’t afford to run it –
sunlight sun shining through the trees – cricketdiane 2012
Fifteen ways to beat the heat
1. Freeze water in soda bottles –
Take several empty 2 liter soda bottles and fill with water – leave some room for the water to expand when it becomes ice – don’t fill the water all the way to the top. Believe it or not – these are the best sleeping pals when it is hot, especially 95 degrees or more . . .
Children can sleep with them, but it is better to put the bottles in the child’s bed to cool it before bedtime and not put the ice bottles directly on the child’s skin. It can remove heat too fast if it is directly next to them for very long. These ice bottles can be placed on a table or chair in front of a fan to cool the stream of air as well. It helps some.
The other water trick that helps is to simply run a cool stream of water in the bathroom shower and then put the fan in front of the open bathroom door to the rest of the house or apartment. This cools the air, adds some moisture and brings the air temperature down several degrees inside the adjacent rooms. It also forces a volume of hot air from the other rooms to be exchanged in that room because as the fan sends air out through the apartment, hot air travels above it to fill in the “void” created which is then cooled as well. It is a very simplified gross form of a heat exchanger. Make sure the fan, its plug in and the floor of the bathroom are not standing in water nor getting any of the splash from the water stream of the shower – this is a cold water only stream for it to work. Also, keep all small children from getting into the shower or playing with the fan while using it this way. It is best to sit the fan in the door or just outside the open door rather than in the bathroom. It works really, really well, though.
2. Make some homemade cold packs –
Put a paper towel folded into a ziplock back with a tablespoon of water and two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol to make a cold pack. Make sure it is not a zipper type bag and that the closing seam is completely sealed and leak-proof. These lay flat in the freezer but don’t become frozen stiff. It is also possible to make these with unflavored gelatin mixed to be gelatin and put in the pouch such that it makes a quarter inch layer when it sets, so don’t fill the bag up very much with it. Making several and keeping them in the freezer allows a quick set to be used and traded for a cool set when they have done their work.
These cool packs are best used on the back of the neck and head or can be laid on the pillow before going to sleep to cool the back of the neck and head. They can be worn against the skin or put on the back of the chair where siting or working to lean back and remove excess body heat.
3. Popsicles, Ice Sticks and homemade ice drinks –
For $1.25, the cheapest answer to beat the heat during the worst of daytime heating is the flavor pop style ice sticks at 24 to a box in various flavors. They are sugar water and fruit flavoring, but limited on messiness, quickly cool the body, children and adults like them, and they can take the dangerous heat to a lower level of effects immediately. It is however, not a one a day thing for it to work when the air temperature is 95 to 100 degrees. Eating several can cool the body down by degrees immediately though and is probably not healthy in any other way – wouldn’t eat them every day or maybe ever, otherwise.
Homemade popsicle forms are in stores from groceries to dollar stores for around a dollar – they are much harder to eat and deal with as far as messiness, than the ice sticks – but they are cooling to the body, a bit slower to work because they are harder to eat, and they can be made with more healthy options from Powerade to juices or some combination.
There are wonderful products of fruit juice popsicles pre-made in grocery stores frozen foods sections that are completely fruit juice made by Edy’s and some store brands – some of these are pure fruit juice and already made without sugar or corn syrup. Be warned that any child under the age of eleven will probably be wearing some of it after eating one, along with the color that can end up as a permanent part of their clothing, shoes, your couch, or whatever else.
Young children, toddlers, babies and pre-schoolers are especially prone to harm from extreme heat – the popsicle and flavor pop style ice treats can be a real lifesaver for them to keep their body temperatures from skyrocketing throughout a really hot day, especially in a house or apartment without air conditioning.
4. Round floor fans –
The cheap group of fans available include a floor fan model that is round, sits on a plastic base and tilts – this delivers the most bang for the buck as far as moving air in the range of fans costing less than thirty dollars. Modern homes, apartments and condos are not made for airflow efficiency, so generally more than one fan is required to move air for cooling. Fans even make the air conditioning systems more effective so that the cooler air can be brought throughout the home or office and mix with the hot air created by activities, sunshine or hourly heating along one side of the house.
Where there is no air conditioning, several fans are moving air in a streams, by placing the fans in correlation to one another more of the night air can be brought in to cool the inside of the house or apartment and mixed to lower the air temperature inside and more of that night air cooling can be kept circulating throughout much of the day. To keep this night air cool inside, for the first of the day windows would be closed or nearly closed, with only the top, or upper half of windows open a pinch. That allows the cool night air to stay inside and move around the house and gives an exit to the hot air that will be near the ceiling level since hot air rises.
A fan at floor level tilted upwards brings the cool air at floor level into the mix where people are sitting, standing, working or moving. Thinking in terms of layers, the coolest air will always be at the floor level – the coolest floor in the house or apartment is probably the tile one, wherever that is and the coolest places will be either in front of the fan sitting on the floor or laying on the tile floor. If you have cats – watch where they will sit or lay stretched out because that is probably where it is cool – dogs, not so much. The worst part of summer with heat and no air conditioner and dogs is that the most likely place they will be, is in the open window tearing up the screen barking at people walking by, or pawing the screen to get the squirrel they see four miles away or slobbering on the window and curtains or all of the above . . . .
If there is one thing to do for community, it is to go out and buy one fan for someone that is elderly, disabled or any mother with young children and babies who have no air conditioning. The cost is less than thirty dollars and it is the best charitable thing that can be done to honor God and humanity as a member of the community. It saves lives.
5. Showers –
Showers are a great place to let young children play when it is too hot for anything else. When a walk to the park with its wonderful water features, is a walk in the sun – not going to work. But, a shower can run with a less than take a bath stream using cool water – not completely cold water – and any toddler, preschool child or young school aged children can be content for hours . . . . A few bowls, spoons, pouring pitchers, toys and a duck or two, and they are happily cool enough and content enough to stay out of trouble. Definitely check on them once every few minutes or so to make sure they’re alright, re-check the temperature of the water and to get the water up out of the bathroom floor. Or, throw an old towel on the floor in the first place, because that will become a pool of water otherwise.
Cool and lukewarm showers for everybody throughout the day adds to cooling the body when there is no ac and the temperatures soar. The effect of cooling does not last as long as might be guessed, however and other measures are certainly necessary. A day can be a long, long, long time when the temperatures are above 90 degrees and especially, when they are above 95 degrees. That is way too much time for a heat stroke to develop and drugs prescribed by doctors are going to make that heat stroke possibility even more likely. It just does.
6. Go put your head in the freezer –
When the feeling of body heat becomes nauseating, headachy, all over achy, horrible – go stick your head in the freezer for a few minutes. Make sure to turn around and get the back too for a minute or two before closing the door and grabbing a wet cloth or cold pack or an ice stick . . . It works. This can buy just enough time of cool down to get some other cooling measures to work. Trust that your body is telling you it is becoming critical. Those are the signs of heat stroke beginning.
For a child, the stream of water in the shower is the quickest way to get them cool, but not totally cold water – and even a child can be held up to the refrigerators freezer for a few minutes to get a cool down – do not put anyone in any freezer by the way. Just stand in front of the refrigerator, open the freezer door and let the cool air get to your head and back of the head by putting your head in the edge of the freezer compartment. This works quickly, it makes the sick feeling go away and allows you time to put some cooling measures into effect with two brain cells firing to remember what those are . . .
7. Close shades and blinds, curtains or put a temporary drape or blanket or towel or something over the place where the sun is coming in –
Even if windows are open, when the sun hits one part of the house or apartment, it heats up that area. That pretty stream of light coming in is heating up that entire room. Simple enough – go close the blinds there or put up a temporary cloth over that part of the window using some pushtacks to keep it in place. When the sun moves to stream in the other side of the apartment, go cover that area where it is now heating up those rooms. This can change the temperature by several degrees. It can be done even with the windows open. A loose cloth is all that is required; something to block the sunshine from those windows. Later for the evening, when it is desirable to have the cool night air, the blinds and curtains need to be open and any temporary covering removed to get full advantage of the cooling from it.
8. Wet hand towels and pat down with them –
If you are walking to the store, especially with young children, a wet paper towel or a soggy, very wet washcloth can be kept in a ziplock to go, that gives something to use for patting the skin and removing heat – it doesn’t work with a barely moist one. If nothing else, even baby wipes can be used to do the same thing in an emergency. They will cool the skin especially dabbed on the arms, stomach, back and legs, under the neck and around the head, behind the ears and at the back of the neck and back of the head.
At home, a wet hand towel works wonders placed in the back of the shirt, or inside the front of the shirt to cool down and providing it isn’t dripping wet, even working at a computer can continue. By the way, electronics don’t do well in heat – any fan flowing in the house should also be flowing across the electronics to help cool them or turn them off.
Draping a wet washcloth or hand towel across the back of the neck helps to stay cool when the temperatures are high regardless of whether the humidity is high or not. And, it requires nothing but getting up to go wet the cloth again to return its cooling effects. The freezer turned out to not be a good place to get these wet hand towels cooler even for short periods of time. Keeping some in the refrigerator folded, wet and ready to use does work. It is easy enough though, to simply re-wet the washcloth or hand towel. Note that given even a short period of time, that hand towel sitting on the counter not in use, but damp – will sour and need a white vinegar rinse with some water to get out the vinegar before using it again.
9. Milk and milk products can sour in the stomach when it is 95 degrees and higher –
This includes infant formulas, ice cream, milk in coffee, nice cold glasses of milk, and everything else with milk in it. As the body temperature rises to accommodate the higher air temperature, all of these milk products curdle in the stomach where the temperature there has increased as well. Simple things can be done to fix it – put ice cubes in coffee that has milk in it, put an ice cube into the bottle of formula baby is drinking and then go hang out at the grocery store or cooling center for awhile as it is being digested, stay clear of milk for the time when temperatures are hovering over 96 degrees, drink clear liquids with ice or cooled in the fridge after drinking milk, go take a shower or let children play in the shower after drinking milk while it is being digested, and/or go buy an air conditioner.
Usually this is a temporary thing, and chemically once the milk has curdled in the stomach or soured, there is little to fix it effectively – it feels bad, nauseating and is a very yukky addition to an otherwise sultry hot sickening day (or night.) It is easier to prevent it than to fix it.
10. Wear loose clothing – 100% cotton – make a caftan from a cotton bed sheet – wear large, x-large 100% cotton tshirts –
It is popular and trendy, fashionable even, to wear skin tight clothing right now. If the only place you go is from your car to the office that is air conditioned, or from the air conditioned car to the house that is air conditioned, then it probably doesn’t matter. But, if there are days when the temperature is soaring 90 and above, especially when it is hovering above 95 – those skin tight clothes do not work in your favor. The body’s systems of cooling that regulate internal temperatures are made to use circulating air, skin surface and even sweat to work properly. Restrictive and tight clothing, clothing not made to “breathe”, and man-made fabrics without built-in air circulating “breathability” can increase the likelihood of heat stroke and sun stroke.
The internal body temperature cannot convert the high temperatures to something cooler without air flow to do it. If you think about it, human beings are really a large jelly of water, 98% water or something near that, moving about in the heat during the summertime. As the temperatures rise, the body temperature rises and all that water becomes that same temperature plus the internal heat created by the body’s systems simply operating. The cooling design humans have is that the surface area of the skin provides a certain level of cooling as the hot air circulates across it and takes away a certain amount of the body heat in a thermal conversion zone. It cools the body and releases the excess heat from the body as air moves across it. With tight restrictive clothing worn across much of the skin’s cooling area – this cooling system can’t do its job.
Looking at people and cultures who live in desert areas of the world yields significant insight into what works and what doesn’t as they have survived temperatures that at many times are above the 90 degree mark. Their clothing, almost regardless of culture or part of the world – is loose and flowing, not tight and restrictive. That about sums it up. Their clothing is predominantly all cotton or natural fibers, often more loosely woven with more threads per square inch than modern “fashion”, trendy clothing has that is tight fitting and the style of garment is loose and flowing with plenty of air flow to circulate around the body’s surfaces. From caftans to saris and beyond, the clothing worn where temperatures are commonly high – are not skin tight.
In the US, there are often 100% cotton tshirts in x-large sizes available at drug stores for about $3, sometimes sold in the groceries as well, and in the men’s section of the discount stores like Wal-Mart. These big shirts let air flow, they are good cotton, even when they are found as irregulars and their cost is minimal. They are perfect. Sheets that are 100% cotton, especially the older ones that feel smooth and cool to the touch when running the hand over them, are found at thrift stores and can be made into saris and wraps, caftans and loose fitting garments for less than $5. Not all sheets are 100% cotton and newer cotton sheets are not as good as old ones for this because of variations that have been made in weaving and finishing that take some of the positive qualities away from the cotton. These are also the best to have for sleeping on during the summer heat because they move the heat away from the body and they “breathe”, allowing moisture to be exchanged for its cooling effects from sweat and humidity alike.
The loose clothing concept is for children as well. Fashionable or not, the desirable thing is to have survivors – not heat stroke. A baby wrapped up in a blanket when it is 90 degrees or above is stupid unless there is air conditioning making the place cold. It isn’t cute – its just stupid.
11. If you get sunburned, apple cider vinegar baths and real cream directly on the burn to keep from peeling and cool the skin –
After being in the sun and getting sunburned, there are a number of products on the market to supposedly help including creams and lotions made by the sun tanning products industry and the cosmetics industries – most of these have lanolin in them which can further damage the skin after a sun burn, dehydrating the skin and causing it to peel – it is put into the products to offer a smooth feeling to the product but it is water repelling, not water keeping which makes it dry out the skin more and not allow the cooling moisture it needs to soak into the damaged cells. The other thing commonly used is mineral oils which literally pull the minerals out of the skin and the body at the same time, are also water repelling, rather than moisture enhancing and are oily destroying clothing, bedding and almost everything else it touches.
There are cocoa butters which can help put moisture back into the skin and add moisture to it because they are not hydrophobic despite being oil type products and real whipping cream like the kind in a little carton sold in grocery’s dairy sections (the before it is whipped kind). Whipping cream or real dairy cream is the best to put on a sunburn to keep it from peeling because it adds cooling to the skin cells which are actually still heated up long after leaving the sun and still cooking actually even after getting out of the sun. It adds moisture and allows the heat within the cells to wick away from them and redistributed. The cream is simply patted on, not rubbed and can be repeated as often as necessary to cool down the skin that has been sunburned.
The other cooling technique which can cool the sunburn and take the toxins from the affected areas is to sit in a bath with a small bottle of apple cider vinegar poured into the water. It smells terrible but done just after coming in with a sunburn, it can remove the heat from the cells, cool down the body and remove the toxic chemicals caused by the cells becoming sunburned. It helps to keep the skin’s moisture while adding moisture to it quickly and a long soak in a lukewarm vinegar bath can give time away from the pain and discomfort of the sunburn in a way that a plain bath water does not do.
12. The number one cause of heat stroke and sun stroke and the illnesses that accompany them is an attitude of – “I am tough enough to handle it – the heat doesn’t bother me.” –
Heat stroke, heat exhaustion, sun stroke, sun poisoning and related heat and sun caused illnesses, injuries and life-threatening situations are not some little casual no-big-deal thing, not “much ado about nothing” and not a “grow a pair” and deal with it kind of thing –
Every year people who are used to working outdoors in the sunshine and heat, sports team members used to working out in the heat, young athletes and marathon runners are dropping over from heat stroke – some of them are dead because of it. The idea that it is no big deal – is a lie. It isn’t a “suck it up” thing – because those who did it that way are dead. Or they ended up in the hospital when they had much better things to do and sometimes it changed their lives in powerfully negative ways for the rest of their lives – or even permanently ended their lives when it didn’t have to be that way.
Anyone can look at the current statistics and see that heat related illnesses, sun stroke, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, sun poisoning and the lot – have taken lives this very year in numbers that are stunning and sad. A lot of the deaths and most of the injuries from sun and heat could have been prevented by a number of simple common sense actions and behaviors that reflected the seriousness, danger of and likelihood of it happening.
13. Put an ice cube in the pet’s water dish –
Pets are susceptible to the high temperatures also – never leave children in cars – never leave pets in cars.
Putting an ice cube in the pets’ water dishes will help them cool down – make sure pet enclosures outside or pets kept outside in the yard have shady areas they can get to at all times of the day and that there are breezes where they can lay. This isn’t as hard as it sounds, usually cutting a few hedges where the breezes are known to commonly flow – makes an unhindered breeze for them when it is extremely hot.
If there isn’t shade, don’t stick up a dog house and expect that to help. Most dog houses do not have ventilation built in – they are built to protect from the elements and not to provide summer cooling. Many dogs stay away from them during the summer, likely for this very reason. Either restructure some ventilation into the dog house or create a shady area with a breeze for dogs to stay cool outside and make sure their water and food dishes are not in the direct sun.
14. Powerade, Pedialyte, some sports drinks and waters – quickly put back the electrolytes being lost – and eat salt –
Weather related injuries from heat stroke and sun stroke, sun poisoning and dehydration don’t just happen to athletes and people working out in the sun – and part of the cause of these heat-related illnesses can be resolved by putting the electrolytes back into the body that are lost through sweating and dehydration. The sports drink Powerade has these electrolytes as well as does Pedialyte and some of the other sports drinks and waters available. ALWAYS have at least one jug of Powerade or Pedialyte in the house cupboards in case of emergency for dehydration – ALWAYS. It can save a baby or child and it can save a 911 call, it can keep anyone of any age from falling over from the electrolytes becoming dangerously low and whether from heat or stomach illness, it can keep from having to end up in the hospital on an IV to get those life saving fluids to restore the electrolytes and body’s metabolism.
During a heat wave of temperatures above 90 degrees, whether inside or outdoors – these products made to help athletes overcome dehydration make sense to drink and have for everyone in the family throughout the day and even at the bedside at night when it is hot. They can restore electrolytes quickly, help cool the body and the brain, they work fast and they help remove the toxins created in the body by the heat and by the sunshine. Certainly one trick to beat the heat, is simply to drink more liquids – water, included. But in doing so, and by sweating, some things are being lost at the expense of hydrating. These electrolytes and this includes salt, believe it or not are absolutely required for staying alive. When they become critically low – which can happen during heat waves and sometimes during illnesses, stomach illnesses especially – these electrolytes have to be added back into the body as quickly as possible.
It isn’t rocket science – a little salt can be put on the hand and licked off – a child can be given a lemon with a little salt on it to squeeze it and lick it – and as much as it doesn’t take a huge amount to fix this – it does take some salt to do it – and not the kind that is fake salt made for people on restricted salt diets – it doesn’t work. Salt is required for living – there is a lot of it lost through sweat and the body doesn’t work well without it. In fact, an ancient form of torture and death was to remove the salt available from a person in captivity to cause the most cruel agonized suffering and grueling horrific death which is caused by a lack of salt. When there is too much salt lost by the body because of the heat or activity during hot days while sweating, there is no help from the fake salt products available on the market for people who use them. It has to actually be real table salt, or sea salt or basic out of the box iodized or non-iodized salt, even though it doesn’t take a lot to do it.
Elderly people and people with disabilities are particularly prone to having a problem during the summertime heat waves with salt and electrolytes becoming critically low because many are taking drugs which strip those out of the body anyway, and many are following a doctor’s orders to restrict the intake of things with the salt and electrolytes in them which at any other time, might not be life threatening. But, during the summertime heat waves without access to an air conditioned environment for daily living – these already low levels of salt and electrolytes become even lower . . . and, believe it or not – EMTs do not carry Gatorade, Powerade, Pedialyte, Ensure Clear or Lite or whatever its called, nor a simple salt box with a little bit of salt in it to fix things like this . . . oh no – it requires waiting for the meat wagon and then waiting for the emt team to figure out what to do and then the hospital to figure out what to do and put in an IV to get those things into their body two or three hours later . . . no wonder people die from it.
15. Use Common Sense – don’t use the oven to cook dinner when it is 90 degrees or more inside the house already – etc. –
If the dinner needs cooking, find some other way to do it. Don’t heat up the space by boiling a pot of water to make something, leave the oven off until winter. Nothing needs to be cooked in the oven that can’t be done some other way just as well. This is actually true even for people who have air conditioning. Also, to keep the house cooler even with air conditioning and definitely without it – turn off the drying cycle of the dishwasher and let the dishes air dry instead. The kitchen is the number one place in the house that generates heat from the normal everyday activities of cooking, food preparation and cleanup. Find ways to do those activities which can utilize cold foods, fruits, raw vegies, smoothies, protein drinks and microwave meals. Almost everything can be cooked in the microwave successfully – get a cookbook specifically about microwaving, (the older cookbooks made when microwaves were within their first ten years of being introduced are actually better with great charts, explanations, handy hints and pictures of step by step cooking methods for different foods.)
Many drugs / pharmaceuticals given to children and elderly and disabled people are toxic in the sunshine. Many drugs / pharmaceuticals given to anyone for anything are also toxic in the sunshine AND many of the pharmaceutical drugs make it more likely to have heat stroke, sun poisoning and sun stroke in a very, very short period of time. That includes getting sunstroke from sitting in the car with sun coming through the windows, especially in the front seats where there is little real shade from it. In these cases, the effects of the sun are cumulative, meaning that a few minutes in the sun and heat here and a few minutes later in the day, there – add together for a toxic effect that can come on suddenly even though, maybe that last little bit of time in the sunshine was only a few minutes. A pharmacist explained it like this – if you put the pills of some kinds of drugs in a window sill in the sunshine, they would literally change into a toxic poisonous substance in a short period of time. When this is in every cell of the body, in the sunshine, the same drug becomes a toxic poison in every cell throughout the body – it has to be taken seriously. These toxic effects and also the sun and heat stroke dangers when taking these drugs are life threatening. Don’t ask your doctor – ask your pharmacist and have them look it up. Not all drug containers with attached warnings will include the sun and heat toxicity nor do they always mention the likelihood of increased susceptibility to heat stroked, sun poisoning, sun stroke and other heat related illnesses.
If the daycare, kindergarten or elementary school doesn’t have a shaded play area and it is to be 90 degrees or more, either get a neighbor or relative to watch them those days, change daycare or school, or send a note that your child is not to be outside that day. And, talk to the school’s directors, principal, school board and other parents about getting some shade for the play area. This is too important an issue that is economically simple and cheap to fix for it to not be fixed. Every playground, play yard and area where children are engaged in sports activities need to have safe places to play where there is shade and it must also be acceptable for them to play there when the outdoor temperatures are high and for those children inclined to get sun poisoning, toxicity from the sun and heat stroke. This includes church playground areas, nursery schools, public and private elementary schools and kindergartens, sports clubs, sports facilities, junior and high school sports fields which at least need a cooling shade area near tennis courts and athletic fields, community fields for junior and adult co-ed athletics (although these seem to have the most shady pavilions near sports fields and be designed with the most common sense in most communities with shade nearby the athletic fields), and at community parks (which also seem to have the most common sense about this with many shady play areas available and sometimes with shade trees over the entire playground where kids can play without being in the direct sunshine.)
If walking in the sun to the store or to a bus stop or standing at a bus stop to catch a bus – use an umbrella. Even a rain umbrella provides some protection from the sun, although not as much as might be assumed. Any umbrella is failing to provide real protection from the sun or heat because it is allowing UV rays to come through mostly unhindered and indirect sunlight sources are still providing much of the sun’s light, heat and UV from sources at street level, from reflected surfaces and just bouncing around from everything. Therefore, an umbrella of any kind, unless it is made to hinder the UV and there are some companies making those – very expensive, is only a partial shade at best and heat from asphalt, sidewalk and building surfaces are still there as well.
Stroller clear front covers when it is hot – do not make it cooler for baby or toddler – they make it an oven with little way for the heat to escape or the air flow to help with cooling. It is cruel and wrong to have those in place during the summer heat – the overhead shade of a stroller should be extended and if the stroller is an umbrella style without a hood – one should be made with some coathangers and an old sheet or something to provide at least some barrier to the direct sunshine without hindering the air flow around the baby sitting in the seat. The sun and heat will not be changed if walking where the sun continues to hit the child at an angle that misses the hood of the stroller – so chasing the shade is the best answer or turning the stroller around to pull it backwards to provide the baby with shade during the walk makes better sense. Standing in the shade a few minutes where there are trees shading the sidewalk can help cool down both walker and child – and always walk on the side of the street where the shade of the trees provides the most shade.
Walking to stores, taking buses or going places in cars with children and elderly where there is no air conditioning in the car even when the air temperature is in the 80’s and certainly when it is anywhere above 85 degrees – every person needs something to drink along with them, several wet cloths to wet the face and back of the neck, cool loose clothing, shade when walking, umbrellas whether rain, sun, golf or beach umbrellas for some shade to cover everyone, and cooling snacks which can be carried in a small thermal lunch bag with a frozen blue pack. Again, NEVER leave children, or elderly, or disabled, or babies, or pets in the car – not even for a few minutes. Just don’t do it – every year there are deaths because of this each one of which was completely preventable and unintended and tragic and horrific.
And last, watch and use some common sense – find the shade to stand in while waiting for a bus even if it requires walking up to the next stop to wait, use the bus schedules to be there as close to the time for the bus as possible, don’t walk if it isn’t necessary, ask for help to get to the store or doctor’s appointments or whatever needs doing from someone with a car, and if anyone, child, baby, elderly, woman, young adult or big grown man looks like they feel bad from the heat or are about to pass out – start doing something to fix it immediately – don’t wait. Don’t wait till they pass out, don’t wait till they look any worse, don’t wait and ask them if they know who they are or where they are, don’t waste time – just get them something cool to drink, a washcloth that is wet with cool water for their face, an icepack from the freezer to put on the back of their head and neck, a wet hand towel to start wiping over their arms legs, shoulders back and front – and help them start cooling down immediately. From slightly sick because of the heat to very sick from the heat can happen very fast and much faster than calling 911 can do even one thing about it.
One quick note about drinking alcohol and that means beer as well – and the heat – being hot and in the sun and alcohol mixed is a strange easy way to get sun poisoning and heat stroke. The beer and alcohol is dehydrating the body even as drinking its cool soothing concoction. It is stripping salts and other body metabolytes out of the body at the same time that sweat from the sun and heat is also doing that – and it has the effect of hiding all that while it is doing it. It often isn’t obvious that it is happening until the situation has really progressed well into the area of sun and heat toxicity – and then it is also twice as far to go to rehydrate the body’s systems while the alcohol is still working its way out of the body at the same time. One small way to resolve this besides not going there in the first place, is to eat salty things like salted nuts and drink water along with the beer or alcohol but not mixed with it – but the best way is not to mix heat, sun and alcohol drinking in the same space and time. That may be why the drunk mechanic is often a shade tree mechanic as well – common sense has ensured their survival.
Some more ideas and tips for staying cool and beating the heat from around the web –
From Inhabitat –
6 Smart Ways to Escape the Summer Heat at Home –
From Gizmodo –
Ice Cube Vest
Tips To Stay Cool During The Heat Wave
June 22, 2012 9:51 AM
Operation Weather Survival