If you find yourself trying to stay cool this summer there are some things you can do to make life a bit more bearable in the heat.
Below are some tips for staying cool:
- Turn on only the lights that are needed in the house. Light bulbs and other appliances actually put off heat and it is important to limit the heat that is being generated in the house.
- Put small fans in strategic places to keep air flowing from room to room. Open windows if you can and feel safe enough to do so at night when the air is cooler. Set the fans to move the air throughout the house.
- Pull drapes and curtains shut as much as possible during the day to block out the sun’s rays.
- Dress in loose clothing.
- If you are outside dress in loose clothing that is light colored
- Keep your hair up and off of your neck so your body can let heat escape easier from your skin.
- Drink cool drinks frequently.
- Keep lotions in the fridge for applying on to your skin, especially aloe vera lotions and gels which will offer an extended relief to the skin if it has been kept in the refrigerator.
- Make small zip lock baggies with ice or use gel icepacks to hold on your wrists. The blood in your wrist is close to the skin and the ice will cool down your blood and move it throughout your body lowering your temperature.
- Put your slippers or summer sandals in gallon zip lock baggies and put them in the freezer while you sleep. In the heat of the day when you need to cool off take them out and put them on for relief that will last for quite a while.
- Getting dressed into work clothes in a warm house can make the day difficult as you battle the heat and try to keep cool. Keeping your underclothes in the refrigerator and putting them on right before you get dressed will offer you just enough time to get dressed comfortably and leave the house without getting drenched from your own sweat. You can do the same for your night clothes to make going to sleep more comfortable but restrict it to the refrigerator because putting them in the freezer makes clothes stiff and un-wearable.
- A bandana put into the refrigerator and tied around the neck while getting dressed or doing a task in the house can help keep the body temperature down. If you have several then you can keep rotating them from the body to the wash to the fridge and keep a supply on hand for every day.
- Only run the dryer during the evening when the outdoor temperature is cooler. Refrain as much as possible from cooking on the stove or in the oven during the day.
- Putting a bowl of ice in front of a fan can lower the room temperature by several degrees.
- Wipe off your skin frequently with cool cloths to help evaporate heat off of the body.
- Avoid covering your head while inside so heat can escape your head.
- Use a squirt bottle set on the mist setting to mist ice cold water on your body, face, and hair.
For those with pets it is important to remember that dogs and cats do not have sweat glands on their skin like humans and must cool off by panting. They also stay cool by releasing heat from their ears and paws.
- You can help them by putting a fan somewhere on the floor to move air where they rest and sleep, keeping their water changed several times in the day and adding ice to it, and by wiping off their stomachs, ear flaps, noses, and paws with a cool cloth occasionally.
- Pets outdoors can quickly be overcome by the heat as their body temperatures are hotter than humans and they are wearing fur coats. Keeping them off of hot surfaces is very important.
- Shade, LOTS of fresh cool water, and moving air to help them cool off is vital. Pet food will go rancid quickly in the heat so food should be changed out every 5-6 hours if it is left out in the heat. Feed them in the coolest parts of the day and there will be less waste.
- Nothing could be more helpful however than a kiddie pool filled with fresh water and floating ice set in the shade for them to take a dip in when they want to do so.
The elderly are very prone to illness and death related to extreme heat. They often are afraid to leave their windows open and will suffer the heat rather than expose their home to a possible intruder. If you have an elderly person living near you, please check on them or report to the authorities that they may need to be looked in on and perhaps you can help them get a donation for an air conditioner through a charity organization. Many churches and charities donate air conditioners and help secure windows to keep the units installed and the home safe from intruders at the same time. There are also charities to help them pay the extra costs to their electric bill and many times the electric company itself will help.
Consider donating time to help others when the heat is high and your assistance will be well received and worthwhile as you will quickly see your efforts making a major difference for someone in need. Just offering to give someone a ride to a shelter that is offering those that need relief from the heat can be the help another person needs.
Stay cool, think of others that may not be as fortunate as you to have a cool place to live and sleep and consider what you could do to help them, care for the animals that are dependent on humans for their comfort, and even offer the wild birds and small animals fresh water in feeders to help them along. Don’t miss the opportunity to look in on your neighbors and those you know that are elderly to make sure they are all doing fine in the heat.
Remember it's summer – we have many more warm days ahead of us! If you have some tips on how to keep cool please share them with us and others in the comments section. Stay cool!