Oh, dear.. is it really Monday again? The weekends come and go so quickly! Yesterday was quite an eventful day to say the least. There was a Titanic exhibition in Tulsa this weekend. On Sunday morning, we decided that it was free, it was something new to do so why not? So, we headed over to the location of the exhibition, which was inside of a small trailer in a parking lot. Well, there was already a long line at noon, when the exhibition opened. Summer in Oklahoma is scorching. A normal day in July is mid 90’s with humidity. Well, to top it off- we are having a heat wave as well which means yesterday it topped at about 103 degrees. Now, take into consideration that we were waiting in line in a parking lot which makes the heat more intense by about 10 degrees- and you are literally in hell. It was excruciatingly hot. The associates of the exhibit were handing out umbrellas which did help a great deal but not enough. We waited in the heat for 1 hour to get in. In all honesty, what were we thinking? In one hour, three people went down due to the heat- my aunt being one of them.
It was quite a scary situation, and it came so fast. The paramedics were called and my aunt is okay now but I just thought I could give every one a little bit more information about extreme heat and heat strokes. I worked as a lifeguard for 3 years so I have gathered plenty of information on the subject.
What is extreme heat? Extreme heat is when the temperature averages about 10 degrees over the regions normal temperatures. Add humidity, and it makes the situation worse because our body’s natural mechanism for dealing with heat is sweating. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat.
To ensure that you are keeping safe in the hot summer months…
1. Stay hydrated- the most important!!! Even if you are not thirsty, drink plenty of water because your body will be using more fluid in a hot environment even if you are not active.
2. Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen. Light-colored, loose-fitting and lightweight clothing. Also, you can protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses or bringing along an umbrella.
3. Pace yourself. If you are not normally active in extremely hot weather, start out slowly. If your heart starts to pound and you start to gasp for breath- STOP immediately!
4. Stay cool indoors. If the outside temperature is above the mid 90’s the best thing you can do is stay in the air conditioning until the heat wave passes.
5. Avoid hot foods and heavy meals- they add to your body heat.
6. Do not leave children or pets in the hot car- even for 5 minutes.. this is extremely dangerous.
I hope this information is useful to you! I will do another post on extreme heat this week dealing with heat exhaustion, heat stroke, cramps caused from heat and sunburns.