While a warm summer in New England is expected, no one wants to stay inside the air conditioning hiding from the sun for the entire summer. Excessive heat and humidity can be unhealthy and cause dangerous conditions such as dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Here are some ways to beat the summer heat:
1. Wear natural fabrics.
Loose-fitting, lightweight white cotton or linen is cooler, as dark fabrics absorb more light than lighter colored clothes.
2. Drink lemon water.
Drink water with lemon to replace the salt lost from excessive sweating. One squeezed lemon provides 21% of a person’s daily required dose of Vitamin C. The acid in lemons can damage teeth, so use a straw.
3. Eat light.
Foods rich in fat and protein take longer for the body to digest, which requires additional metabolic heat. Eating light such as salads can help feel hydrated. Eat small meals and eat more often.
4. Cool down pulse points.
Use frozen water bottles at the bottom of the throat, behind the ears, on wrists, inside the elbow and behind the knees.
5. Use aloe on sunburns.
Sunburns slow the skin’s ability to cool itself off. Only use aloe products on sunburned skin, moisturizers trap in the heat.
6. Keep the sun out.
Invest in room-darkening curtains to help keep the light and heat out more efficiently. Close windows and pull shades.
7. Avoid hot appliances.
Try not to use the dryer or oven as they add heat in the home. Air-dry clothes outside and try outdoor grilling or a slow cooker to keep the heat outside.
8. Slow down.
Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day (usually between 11am – 3pm). Staying indoors or in an air-conditioned area helps cool the body down. Spending only two hours in AC can help reduce heat stroke risk.
9. Stay hydrated.
Drink plenty of water, even if not feeling thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol and caffeine.
If you or someone you know is suffering from heat stroke or dehydration, go to the nearest Emergency Department or call 911.
MetroWest Medical Center’s Emergency Department is ready to help and located in downtown Framingham.
For more information, visit our website here.
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