Tips on staying safe in the heat

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, June 21, 2022

With temperatures in the high 90s with an index in the 100s, this summer is looking like it will be a hot one.

Nurse Supervisor Trissa Wilder with the Bell County Health Department says staying indoors and keeping hydrated will help prevent heat exhaustion which could potentially lead to a heat stroke.

“We always worry about the elderly that don’t have air-conditioning, check on the elderly and your neighbors,” said Wilder.

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The elderly and infants are at a higher risk of heat exhaustion.

“Please don’t leave children or pets unattended in hot vehicles,” she said.

Signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke include: high body temperature, wet or damp skin, fast pulse, excessive sweating, confusion and muscle cramps. Wilder says to move to a cooler area and call 911 if experiencing any of those symptoms.

“I would definitely call 911 if they start having confusion or loss of conciseness or headache because that could result in a heat stroke,” she said.

She added to limit outdoor time for pets, make sure they have plenty of water and avoid walking them on hot asphalt.

Here are some other tips to help stay cool:

Neck trick: The area of brain that regulates body temperature is the in the base of the neck area, cool this spot down and you can trick your body into feeling cooler.

Soak a bandana in water, wrap around head or place on back of neck.

Put an ice pack behind your head.

Chill hot spots: Lowering the temperature in the blood of your arms can help to cool down your entire body. Blood from your arms recirculates into your body’s larger bloodstream.

Cold water: Run cold water over wrists for up to 30 seconds.

Mint is meant to beat the heat: Mint contains menthol which will stimulate your nerves and trick your body into thinking you are cooler when you are overheated.

Keep peppermint lotion handy when spending time outside. You can rub on your skin to stimulate the menthol cooling effect

Grab a spray bottle and mix water with peppermint oil. When you feel overheated spritz your neck and your forehead to cool off.

Fill up on fruits and vegetables: Eating foods that contain more than 90% of water will help you fight dehydration when you are out in the heat. AFC providers recommend at least 8 to 12 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated. Liquid in your foods counts towards that daily total. Foods to help prevent dehydration include celery, cucumber, tomatoes, watermelon, cauliflower, strawberries and snap peas.