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Tips on how to deal with heat

It only takes a couple of steps outdoors to be reminded just how hot it is outside right now. Temperatures are going to be in the mid to low 90s the rest of the week and summer only recently began.

It’s time to embrace the heat — or at least remember the best ways to deal with it. The American Red Cross lists tips on its website for dealing with heat, and although they seem like common sense, many will die from heat related illness this year. According to the Center for Disease Control, 658 people died from heat related illness in 2013 — more than tornadoes, hurricanes and lightning combined.

We’ve written on the heat a couple of times this summer, but given the current temperatures outside, we feel it’s worth repeating.

This is a time when a lot of people will be outdoors. Whether you’re fishing at the lake, working or taking a walk, make sure to do it carefully. 

Here are tips for how to handle the heat from the Red Cross:

Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.

Eat small meals and eat more often.

Avoid extreme temperature changes.

Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.

Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.

Postpone outdoor games and activities.

Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.

Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.

Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.

Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.

It’s important to remember that outdoor tasks should be put off until a cooler part of the day, if at all possible. We know work has to be done, but it’s important to try to do it at the right time. Stay safe out there.