We have been spoiled in Central Kansas. July, normally a time for extremely hot temperatures, has been mild. We all knew that we would pay the price, and now we are with temperatures predicted to be in the triple digits this week.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reminds Kansans to protect themselves in hot summer temperatures. According to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States. When temperatures soar close to 100 degrees, with excessive humidity leaving Golden Belt residents sweltering and sticky, they should be careful to protect both themselves and their loved ones from falling ill due to the heat. From heat rash to sunburn to heat exhaustion to heat stroke, the impact of the high temperatures can range from painful to deadly.
Some tips to prevent heat-related illnesses include:
• Spend more time indoors, if a home is not air-conditioned , spend time in public facilities that are air-conditioned
• Drink plenty of water. Drink water even if you are not thirsty
• Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages
• Wear loose light colored clothing and sunscreen
• Schedule outdoor activities carefully; try to schedule activities early in the day or later in the evening
• Limit outdoor activities; take frequent breaks to cool off
• Monitor people at high risk (elderly, children, pets, etc.)
• Eat light meals
There are some individuals who are at high risk for heat-related Illness. People who are at highest risk are the elderly, the very young, and people with mental illnesses and chronic diseases. Check on family, friends and neighbors without air conditioning, including the elderly who are more vulnerable to falling ill due to the heat. Never leave your child unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows down. One more thing – don’t forget our four-legged family members. Remember to keep pets cool and make sure they have shade and plenty to drink. Ensure your pets are not suffering due to the heat. They don’t have the ability to remind us to do so.
Enjoy the outdoors, but be careful out there.