As summer continues to march on, it’s important to understand the significance of staying safe from the heat we experience, and sometimes endure, in Osceola County and throughout the Sunshine State.
Florida’s Heat Index has ranged from 101-110 over the last week, but what is a Heat Index?
The Heat Index combines air temperature and relative humidity to indicate the level of discomfort the average person experiences. The outside temperature may be 98 degrees but to the human body, it feels like 103 degrees.
To avoid heat exhaustion and unplanned exposure to the sun, here are some tips, and reminders that will keep you cool for the summer.
Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water or sport drinks like coconut water, Pedialyte, fruit smoothies, and infused waters, to name a few. These drinks will aid in the replenishing of electrolytes lost through profuse amounts of sweat. A good sign of electrolytes being replenished in the body is clear urine.
When spending time outdoors, pace yourself and make sure you are planning ahead how much time you will be spending outside. It is recommended to spend time outside either early in the day or late at night to avoid being outdoors during the hottest portions of the day.
Wear sunscreen – this will help your core body temperature remain stable and protect you from skin damage caused by heat.
Wear proper attire when spending time outdoors. It is recommended to wear dry-fit, light-colored, breathable, lose or flowing fabrics made to keep you refreshed.
Keep a hand-fan or a water spritz when spending time outdoors. It is recommended to seek shade when standing or working outside and have umbrellas nearby to provide instant shade.
When home, try to close window blinds, drapes and shades to avoid heating your home.
DO NOT drink alcohol or caffeine as these drinks are considered diuretics that reduce the fluid levels that are vital to regulating your body temperature.
DO NOT eat heavy meals or hot/spicy foods – due to the high protein intake, your metabolism will rise, and this will add heat to your body.
Suggested foods include melon, cold soups, and salads.
DO NOT leave children of any age or pets in the car. It only takes a few minutes before the vehicle begins to reach high temperatures that can become deadly.
Do our pets feel the heat?
The answer is yes.
It is important for pet owners to prepare their pets for the summer.
Here are the DO’s and DON’T’s for pet owners:
Do not leave your pets out in the sun.
Do make sure that your pet has plenty of access to shade and to drinking water to maintain themselves hydrated.
Do groom your pet appropriately for their breed, and the outside temperature.
Do not assume your pet can swim.
Do not make your pet walk on hot asphalt.
Do KNOW what heat exhaustion looks like on your pet: excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse.
Do lay out a damp towel for your pet to lay on.
Do provide PLENTY of accessible drinking water.
As a reminder, 4th of July is approaching, please do NOT use fireworks around your pet and be sensitive to the anxiety that this may cause on your pet – make sure they feel safe and do NOT leave them out in a yard where they can run off or get hurt due to the sounds of fireworks.
Many pets are fearful of loud noises and can become lost, scared or disoriented, so it’s best to keep your pets safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area of your home.
Know what heat exhaustion and heat stroke symptoms look like and call for medical assistance if you are sweating heavily, have nausea, headache, weakness and are pale or have hot, and dry skin with no sweat and your body temperature is at or above 103 degrees.