Tips to keep cool in this heat

2018-01-17 06:01

THE current heat wave can cause a lot of discomfort particularly as cooling drops of rain seem to be few and far between.

The following tips from American medical doctor Melissa Conrad Stoppler suggests ways to keep cool without air conditioning

• Opening doors in the house and using fans to push hot air outdoors can function as an “exhaust” system and draw cooler evening air into the house. In the cooler evenings, open all windows and promote as much air circulation as possible. When the sun rises, close all doors and windows, making sure to close curtains and blinds as well, to keep the indoors cool for as long as possible. When the outside air cools, open up the windows and turn on the fans again.

• Take advantage of the cooling power of water. Fill buckets or basins and soak your feet. Wet towels and bandannas can have a cooling effect when worn on the shoulders or head. Take cool showers or baths, and consider using a spray bottle filled with cold water for refreshing spritzes throughout the day.

• If you live in double storey house head downstairs, since hot air rises, the upper stories will be warmer than the ground floor. A basement can be a cool refuge from the midday heat.

• Eliminate extra sources of heat. Incandescent light bulbs can generate unnecessary heat, as can computers or appliances left running. Eat fresh foods that do not require you to use the oven or stove to prepare.

• Remember to maintain an adequate level of hydration, which means you’ll need to consume more water than you usually do when it’s hot. If you’re sweating profusely, you will also need to replace electrolytes by eating a small amount of food or by drinking specially-formulated electrolyte replacement drinks. Thirst is the first sign of dehydration.

• Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeine, as both of these substances can act as diuretics and promote dehydration.

• Don’t eat large, protein-rich meals that can increase metabolic heat and warm the body.

• Remember that pets also suffer when the temperature rises. Cooling animals by giving them a “cool” bath or shower will help keep their body temperature down. A cool towel on a tile floor to lay on, a cool towel or washcloth laying over the skin next to a fan will also help cool the animal. Make sure they have plenty of cool water to drink as well.

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