Beat the Heat

We in the Mid-Ohio Valley currently find ourselves in the grip of the first real heat wave of the summer. While really not all that unusual for mid-July, this week’s 90 degree-plus temperatures and the high humidity are making summertime activities not associated with the pool uncomfortable.

Along with being uncomfortable, the heat and humidity present real dangers for those who must be outside during the hottest hours of the day. Health issues such as heat exhaustion and its more dangerous cousin, heat stroke, are just two of those issues that cannot be ignored. It’s important for everyone, young and old, to know the signs of these two serious issues.

Many people believe the elderly are the group at the highest risk in hot weather. Yes, we should check in regularly with our elderly relatives or neighbors to make sure they are OK and their air conditioners and fans are working properly. However, younger people, especially those who exercise daily, sometimes feel they won’t be affected by the hot weather because they are healthy. That is not true. Heat problems can hit anyone at any age. Ask any hospital emergency room worker and they will emphatically tell you that young adults are just as susceptible to heat-related issues as anyone.

Of course, it would be better to confine outside work to the cooler hours of morning, or put it off until later in the evening. However, as we all know, many jobs require people to be outside during the day. The temperature won’t change that. For those workers, drinking plenty of water and frequent breaks in shade are necessary.

While this current heat wave should be ending in the next couple of days, and more moderate temperatures are being forecast, we are now entering the dog days of summer when this type of weather pattern is common. Please use caution when outside in the heat.