Summer’s warmer temperatures and longer days give us more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, but as the heat index begins to rise, so does the danger.
The National Weather Service has predicted temperatures for Roswell of 103 degrees fahrenheit on Friday and 104 degrees on Saturday, which means the heat index is even higher.
A heat index is the temperature your body feels when the actual air temperature is combined with the relative humidity. This means that if the temperature outside is 90 degrees and the humidity is 70 percent, then it actually feels like 105 degrees. If you’re directly in the sun, the heat index might be as much as 15 degrees higher.
“This combination of heat and humidity makes it harder for your body to cool itself by giving off heat,” said Mike Lipscomb, ER medical director at . “As a result, your body’s internal temperature will rise, and heat-related illnesses might result.”
Older adults, young children and those who are sick or overweight are most likely to develop problems due to heat, but anyone can have a heat-related illness.
Prevention Is Best
Lipscomb suggests these important tips to help prevent heat-related injury to you and your loved ones:
- Call or check on any elderly relatives to make sure that there air conditioners are turned on and are working. Consider bringing them to your house for the extremely hot periods of the day if you have any concerns about the temperature in their homes.
- Never leave children in the car unattended, even with the windows cracked. Temperatures in cars can elevate quickly and babies and toddlers are more susceptible to heat illness than older children and young adults.
- If your home doesn’t have air conditioning, consider getting a small, window unit to cool one room so that you have a cool place to rest during extreme heat. Use fans to circulate the air.
- Stay indoors during the heat of the day and limit your exposure to the sun. There are many public buildings like libraries, malls and movie theaters where you can go during the heat of the day. During days of extreme heat, many towns will open special cooling shelters for people to use.
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially those that don’t contain alcohol or caffeine. Eat light, well-balanced meals.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing. Lighter colors will help reflect heat and keep you cooler. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to shade your face and neck.
- Avoid strenuous activities such as exercise, working in the yard during the middle of the day.