How to cool down when the temperatures climb

As the country continues to be blanketed by oppressive heat, with it only getting worse

So how can you keep the hot and sticky weather from ruining your day?

Here are some suggestions:

1. Hydrate

You can’t say it enough. During hot and humid temperatures, you must stay hydrated. Drink water before you feel thirsty and try to replace your fluids that are being drained by sweat.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said to drink one 8-oz. cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes when working in the heat. That is about 3/4 to a quart of water each hour. But keep in mind, don’t drink more than 48 ounces an hour. That includes sports drinks, energy drinks and other beverages too. Drinking too much can cause a salt concentration to drop too low.

But while you’re trying to increase your liquid intake,the CDC suggests staying away from alcohol, which can dehydrate you. You should also avoid too much caffeine as it can add stress to your body when dealing with heat.

2. Stay out of the heat if possible

Try to stay in air-conditioning during the hottest parts of the day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you don’t have air conditioning available, be careful. Apartments in New York City can register at least 93 degrees during heat waves, according to Consumer Reports. If you don’t have air conditioning, visit a library, movie theater or other air-conditioned public spaces. Sometimes, cooling centers will be set up by officials.

3. Weather-appropriate clothing

Dress in lightweight, light-colored breathable clothing whether you are inside or outside. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and slather on sunscreen, Consumer Reports suggests.

4. Know signs of heat-related illness

Watch for signs of any heat-related illness before they strike.

Heat cramps are usually painful muscle cramps that happen because of stressful activity when the weather is hot. Use a sports drink or juice to replenish fluids and vitamins and minerals lost while sweating.

Heat exhaustion can make you feel like you’re tired, weak or dizzy. You can sweat heavily, feel nauseous, vomit and have pale skin. Stop what you are doing if you have these symptoms and rest, rehydrate and cool yourself down.

Heatstroke happens when your body reaches a temperature of 104 degees or higher. You can be confused, nauseous, have red and hot skin, but are unable to sweat and have a bad headache. You could faint. Heatstroke can be fatal. If someone is suffering from heatstroke, call 911 and try to cool the person down.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has created a chart that shows what to do for each condition. It can be downloaded at the CDC’s website.

5. Check on friends and family

During heat waves, check on friends, family and neighbors and have them do the same, the CDC recommends. Also, never leave children or pets in cars.

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