Keep cool in summer heat

New York City and Washington, D.C. are two of my favorite places in the whole world. With one first glance, I instantly fell in love, and I feel invigorated by those cities.

Today, however is not one of those days. I choose to visit these east coast locales when the weather is perfect, usually in the spring. While I know these cities in the height of spring fever, I hope to never know these cities in the summer. Today temperatures skyrocketed up to 108 degrees on the east coast, but with a heat index (what the temperature actually feels like if you factor in humidity as well) of 120 degrees, it was in a word: painful.

While this heat is sticky and painful, it can actually be deadly. More than 22 people have died so far this summer because of the the painful heat. Children and the elderly are at most risk, especially those who are living in poverty.

Since we cannot fast forward to the end of summer, here are some helpful hints to keep cool in the summer heat.

  • Stay cool. OK, this one seems a bit obvious. Of course staying cool will help you avoid the heat. But there are some tricks to making sure this happens. Do not let your house over heat. Use air conditioning to keep the temperature of your house low. If you do not have air conditioning, window air conditioning units (that fit into the window and plug into the wall for electricity) or fans can be used to keep the temps low.
  • Drink lots of water. Drink more water than you think you need to. Ironically, when you get really dehydrated you actually do not feel thirsty anymore. When you reach this point you are in serious risk of severe dehydration. This is especially important to note in the elderly. If you notice a senior exhibit any signs of dehydration (flushed skin, dry, taut skin, dry mouth, dizziness), take them to the hospital immediately. The easiest way to make sure you are drinking enough water is to keep a water bottle with you at all times. That way, you will be constantly reminded to sip on the water throughout the day. How much water should you drink? It is not as easy as saying you need to drink 8 cups a day, because every person is different so the right amount of water each one needs will be to.
  • Get proper health care when needed. Hopefully, you will not need to utilize your discount health insurance plan, but you need to have it just in case. This is especially important for low-income families. Many families in poverty will forgo a doctor or hospital visit because of the high health care costs. This mistake can be costly, but usually in a more serious health condition or even death. If you need medical attention, purchase health insurance before so you will be prepared. Many discount health insurance plans are available. Enter in your ZIP code in the box above for rates in your area.