Surviving the Dog Days of Summer

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How to Survive the Hot Weather

We have reached that time of the summer.  Yes, those hot days often referred to as the “Dog Days of Summer”.  See the Wikipedia definition here. Some days it is miserable both outdoors and indoors.  Every afternoon I thank God for my home air conditioning and try to stay in as much as possible.  I didn’t grow up with home air conditioning.  We used an “attic fan” to pull cooler air in at night and then closed the house up during the day to try to keep it cooler inside.  I remember nights we slept out in our screened in patio because it was too hot to sleep in our bedrooms.  We used box fans also, several of them. There were days we were just plain miserable and tried several things to survive the extreme heat of central Arkansas.

Yesterday, Mel and I drove our “new to us” convertible to Fayetteville (with the top UP – we are not dummies!).  We saw some people running on the sidewalks; there were even bikers out in this heat.  I looked at those people and shook my head.  It seems to me they were asking for a heat stroke.  So I thought I might write today about the dangers of overheating and how to survive extreme heat.  Even in these Ozark hills of northwest Arkansas, we must learn how to survive hot weather.

The Dangers of Overheating

Technically, when a person’s body temperature gets too high, it is called Hyperthermia (as opposed to too low of a themperature – known as hypothermia which we hear of more often).  Hyperthermia is when our bodies internal temperature is extremely high and is a medical emergency.  Wikipedia has this definition of hyperthermia.

You can DIE from hyperthermia.  You can also become ill with heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

If you are older, have medical conditions, or a child, you are more suceptible to overheating in hot weather because your body doesn’t regulate your internal temperature as well.

If your body temperature goes above the normal high of 99.5–100.9 °F, and you are not ill, you may be showing signs of hyperthermia.  A body temperature of 104 °F is life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.

Hyperthermia can show in stages

Early stages of heat exhaustion, heat stress or heat prostration show symptoms of heavy sweating, rapid breathing and your pulse can be fast and weak.

If your body continues in the extreme heat, then symptoms will increase and your skin may feel dry when your body can’t keep up its cooling mechanism of perspiring.  You can progress to a Heat Stroke and, may feel nausea and vomit.  Your blood pressure may lower and you could feel dizzy or even faint. As it worsens, you may have confused and even seizures.  Your organs will fail and then you could die without treatment.

You can develop heat stroke whether you are exerting or not, but exertion will bring it on quicker.  There are even some medications ( anticholinergic drugs, antihistamines, and diuretics) which will make you more likely to develop heat stroke.

Treatments to avoid death or damage

Don’t expect drugs like acetaminophen, aspirin, other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to help in heatstroke, they will not work on a healthy hypothalamus overloaded because of heatstroke.

  • Your body’s first method to treat overheating is through sweating.  You can help by drinking plenty of cool water, stay in the shade, use a fan, or go into an air-conditioned area.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol as it can make it harder for your body to deal with the heat.
  • You can remove clothing and wash your face, head, arms and trunk with cool water.
  • You can fill your tub with cool water and immerse yourself in it to cool off quicker

But if you are showing the later signs of heat stroke, like confusion or fainting, it is an emergency and you need to go immediately to a hospital for more involved medical treatment.

Those who work outside or in factories in heated situations requiring PPE (personal protective equipment) gear, should be sure to take all safety precautions against

overheating in their equipment.

 

 

 

 

Exercising in the Heat

If you are are a runner, walker, biker or play an outside sport, be aware of your body and avoid overheating by:

  • Staying hydrated and watch for muscle cramping as a symptom of overheating.
  • Layering lightweight loose clothing and choosing clothing that wicks sweat away (like synthetic materials such as microfiber jerseys or singlets) from your skin. Also, choose light colors to reflect light.
  • Run early and avoid the hottest part of the day.
  • Wear sunglasses and be sure and apply sunscreen and for sure a hat.
  • Stop exercising if you experience the symptoms of heat stroke and get treatment. If you are not at home, call for an ambulance, go to a shady spot or inside and wait.
  • Be sure and have your cell phone with you in case of an emergency.

 

Seeking Some Comfort

Sometimes you are not in danger of heat illness but are simply very uncomfortable dealing with the hot dog days of summer.  Besides having an awareness of the dangers and symptoms of overheating, there are some things you can get to help keep yourself cool and more comfortable.  The post has included the most common dangers and treatments for overheating in extremely hot weather.  There are other dangers like sunburn and potential cancer risks on the road, you should always use a sunscreen when out in the sun for more than a few minutes.  Our summers are too beautiful to be laid up with the pain of sunburn.

Towels

There are various cooling towels and wraps you can purchase to help cool off. Basically, you soak them in water, wring and wear.

Instant Cooling Towel – Stay Cool, Fresh & Active For Hours. Perfect for All Sports & Outdoor Adventures – Camping, Hiking, Gym Workout, Fitness, Yoga, Golf. Wear it as a Neck Wrap or Bandana. UPF 50. Various colors. 4.5 stars

KUEN [4 Pack] Cooling Towel (40″x12″), Ice Towel, Soft Breathable Chilly Towel, Microfiber Towel for Yoga, Sport, Running, Gym, Workout, Camping, Fitness, Workout & More Activities. 4.5 stars

 

YoungMobileSkin Microfiber Cooling Towel – The Instant Cooling Towel for Travel Camping, Gym, Yoga, Tennis, Running, Chill Ice Fitness Towel for Golf, Biking, Hiking.  5 stars

 

Chill Pal Ultimate Microfiber Cooling Towel – Extra Soft.  4.5 stars

 

 

 

Chill Pal Ultimate Mesh Cooling Towel – Extra Long 12 x 40 inches.  4.5 stars

 

 

 

Neck wraps and headbands

Mission VaporActive Cooling Lockdown Headband, attracts moisture, removes sweat.  4 stars.

 

 

[NEW2018] N-rit Cooling Scarf. Wrap Soaked Tie Around Neck, Head to Instantly Chill Out. Crystal Polymer Technology Keeps Cool, Reusable. Great for Summer, Indoor, Outdoor, Leisure Activities, Sports. 3.5 stars  Several colors/patterns available.

Mission Enduracool Reflective Cooling Headband.  4.5 stars.  

When wet, stays cool for hours; when dry, soft and absorbent. Reflective.

 

Cool Downz Cooling Bandana and Neck Wrap. 3.5 stars. Soak and use for up to 4 hours.

 

 

 

Nano-Ice Cooling Necklace – Purple – BEAT THE HEAT IN STYLE – Take out of the freezer for Hours of Cooling Relief!  4.5 stars.  The cooling technology inside lasts for around 2 hours after you take it out of the freezer.

More Neck and Head Gear

Blubandoo Water Activated Evaporative Floppy Hatbandoo Bucket Hat with Cooling Crystals. 4 stars.   Our cooling crystals evolve into a gel when immersed in water. Within minutes your Neck & Hat Bandoo will completely dry to the touch, yet the active gel will remain hydrated and cool the wearer, due to evaporation, for several days before slowly returning to its original crystal state.

KOOLGATOR Cooling Neck Wrap, 4 stars.  Just soak in water for 20 minutes and the non-toxic, super absorbent crystal polymers, sewn inside the middle chamber, absorb hundreds of times their weight in water. This helps keep you cool all day through the process of evaporation.

 

 

Blubandoo Water Activated Cooling Crystal Safari Hatbandoo With Cooling Crystals.  4 stars.

 

 

 

 

 

Mission Enduracool Cooling Performance Hat.  4 stars.  

Activate the technology by wetting the hat before wear; soak in water, wring out and wave in the air for instant cooling.

 

 

 

Mission Cooling Bucket Hat.  4 stars.  

Ultra-wicking Eventure fabric pulls sweat away from the body and encourages quick drying.

 

 

 

Sunscreen

Here are some sunscreens rated 4 stars and above.

Coppertone SPORT Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Multipack (7-Fluid Ounce Bottle, Pack of 3) Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen with Cellular Response Technology SPF 50 Neutrogena Sport Face Oil-Free Lotion Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum SPF 70+, Sweatproof & Waterproof Active Sunscreen, 2.5 fl. oz Banana Boat Sunscreen Sport Family Size Broad Spectrum Sun Care Sunscreen Lotion – SPF 50, 12 ounce Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray, Twin Pack

 

 

Comments

Thank you for visiting the Bella Vista Online Mall and this post.  I welcome comments and questions.  You can leave yours below – Shirley

 

NOTE: Some links on this page are affiliate links, which, when clicked and an item purchased, I receive a small commission (with no increase in cost to you).  Also, I lay no claim to medical expertise and am not a medical professional.  See our medical disclaimer on this site.

 

 

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