Body+Soul: Beat the Heat
June 11, 2014 ē By Shari Grant

Summer is fast approaching!! The first official day is June 21st, to be exact. No matter where you call home, there may be those days when we need a little more than flip flops and bathing suits to combat the crazy heat. Between 1999 and 2010, the average number of heat/humidity- related deaths a year reached into the 600s. Thankfully, there are many ways to win the battle against hot weather and keep you and your loved ones safe.



1. Be Cool

The most obvious way, of course Ė air conditioning! Air conditioning not only lowers your body temperature, but it also lowers the level of humidity in the air. If you donít have air conditioning, then try and spend time in places that do: hang out at a friendís house, visit the library, or go to the movies. Try and wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing if you have to brave the outdoors. Frequent, cool showers (if possible) is a great idea, too.



2. Are You Hydrated?

We can lose fluid as easily as through sweating and even breathing. That fluid has to be replaced or else we are left at risk of becoming dehydrated. So whether or not youíre feeling especially thirsty, be sure to drink up. Drinking plenty of water is absolutely necessary, especially if participating in outdoor activities and exercise in especially hot weather. Be sure to avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, specifically when out in the heat. They have a diuretic effect and lead to excessive loss of fluids - not good!



3. Stay In-the-Know

Youíve got to stay informed about whatís going on with the weather in your neck of the woods. Know the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and exhaustion (yep, they are two different things).


Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

Excessive sweating

Cold or clammy skin

Weak, fast pulse

Nausea or vomiting



What Should You Do?

Go somewhere that is a bit cooler

Take sips of water

If you have intractable vomiting (nothing makes it go away), seek medical attention ASAP


Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke

Hot, dry skin

Elevated body temperature


Strong, fast pulse


What Should You Do?

Call 911

Do NOT give any fluids

Lower the personís temperature with cool cloths until ambulance arrive


Enjoying your summer with friends and family should be easy to do. Just be sure to keep these tips in mind and pass them along to others.



Shari Grant is a Registered Nurse in South Florida, where she was raised in a (very!) Jamaican home. Some of the loves of her life are words (both reading and writing them) and missions work. She enjoys spending time with friends and family while living for a good laugh - one that makes her belly ache and her eyes water. Her bottom line goal in life is to make the Lord smile and maybe even serve Him up a chuckle from time to time, too.







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