Keeping Cool In The Heat

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Dr. Deborah Robertson
St. Luke’s Wood River Emergency Department

Summer has finally arrived in our Valley! As the temperatures rise, it’s imperative to keep cool, remain hydrated and stay informed. Here are a few tips to help you stay healthy and enjoy these long, hot days.

  • There is no safe temperature to leave a child unattended in a vehicle!
  • A child’s body temperature rises five times faster than an adult’s
  • Death can occur when a child’s temperature reaches 107 degrees
  • On an 80-degree day, a child’s body temperature can reach deadly levels in only 10 MINUTES
  • On days when ambient temperatures exceed 86°F, the internal temperatures of a vehicle can quickly reach 134°F to 154°F

For more on child safety in and around vehicles, go to Kidsandcars.org. Keep in mind body temperature for the elderly and our furry friends also heats up faster and can quickly become unsafe.

Generally, we are a very active community enjoying a variety of outdoor recreation and activities. It’s a good idea to avoid excessive exertion late in the day when temperatures are often at their peak. If you don’t take care when exercising in the heat, you risk serious illness. Both the exercise itself and the air temperature increase your core body temperature. To help cool itself, your body sends more blood to circulate through your skin. This leaves less blood for your muscles, which in turn increases your heart rate.

Stay hydrated. Often water alone isn’t enough, and our body needs to replace electrolytes found in some sports drinks as well. Dress appropriately. Lightweight, loose -itting clothing helps sweat evaporate and keeps you cooler. Avoid dark colors, which can absorb heat. If possible, wear a light-colored, wide-brimmed hat.

For more tips for a safe and healthy summer, visit www.cdc.gov/features/extremeheat or ask your local physician.

Don’t have a physician? Call the St. Luke’s Center for Community Health (208) 727-8733 for help finding the right provider for you.

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