Heat Awareness Day highlights need to stay cool, hydrated this summer


Wednesday's weather didn't match the spirit of the declaration for this June 6th to be Heat Awareness Day in Wisconsin in 2018.

But if you found yourself struggling a little over Memorial Day weekend and its record-setting temperatures, it might be time to think about how you deal with extreme heat.

When hot weather does come to town, it's usually not alone.

"If it's very humid, our bodies aren't gonna be as good as getting rid of heat as than if the humidity is low," says Dr. Lindsay Deuster, a pediatrician with Prevea Health.

One of the primary mechanisms our bodies use to stay cool is allowing water to evaporate from our skin, either through pores or via sweat.

But when it's humid out, water doesn't evaporate as readily.

There are several other pointers to keep in mind.

Avoid the heat if you can, by staying inside an air-conditioned building.

Limit exposure if you do have to be outside, and take frequent breaks from any strenuous activities.

Being outside only during the mornings and evenings while avoiding the hottest part of the day can mitigate the heat's impact on your body as well.

And make sure you stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.

Speaking of staying hydrated-- avoiding sunburn can aid in that regard.

Sunburned skin loses moisture more quickly than healthy skin, which will dehydrate you faster.

Some are more vulnerable to extreme heat than others, like the elderly, the sick, and children.

"Kids also aren't always as aware of how much they need to drink so they sometimes get in the tendency to just run around and play and don't wanna take those breaks to drink, which is why we have to encourage them to do that," according to Dr. Deuster.

Kids also tend to lose more water through their skin than adults do.

And never, ever leave children or pets in a car on a hot day, even with the windows cracked.

In just 10 minutes, the temperature inside a car can jump 20 degrees.

A little bit of precaution can go a long way toward having a fun and safe summer.

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