The first nine months of 2015 in Florida was the second hottest period noted on record since we began keeping records in 1895. This year we seem to be heading in the same direction. Although the official dates of Summer are June 1 to August 31, it is not unusual for Florida temperatures to start climbing into the mid-eighties in April, and not come down below that to November. The hottest days of summer are during July and August when the heat index (which factors in the humidity) reaching 90-100 almost every day. Interestingly, West Palm Beach is considered Florida’s “hot spot”, simply because of our geographical location and our proximity to Lake Okeechobee. Keeping yourself and your family safe and cool in these kinds of temperatures is an important part of summer in South Florida. Read on for some easy ways to protect yourself this summer form the heat.
1. Stay hydrated. Replenishing the fluids lost to sweat and heat is essential in the summer. Symptoms of dehydration include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and muscle cramps just to name a few. A person should drink appx an ounce of water for every pound they weigh. When exercising, it is important to mix electrolytes with some of that water, especially before and after exercising.
2. Stay inside during peak sunshine hours. The sun is hottest in the sky between 12-3. Limit your time outdoors to the minimum possible during this hours. Take advantage of the slightly cooler morning or evening hours to get your daily Vitamin D.
3. Utilize air conditioned spaces. Movies, museums, a late lunch or the mall are places you will find with Air Conditioning. Visiting these places during the daytime will leave you cool and refreshed.
4. Wear clothing that breathes. Loose fitting cotton or linen clothing should be your go to choice of clothes during the summer. Light colored clothing reflect the light away from you while dark colors attract the light and holds the heat.
5. Wear a hat. Keeping the sun off your face and head will greatly improve your comfort during the day. Shielding your face and hair will also protect it from sun damage.
6. Use sunscreen. Everyone should use sunscreen when outside in the sun. Skin cancer, skin discoloration, premature wrinkling are some of the reasons to avoid too much sun. Any change in skin color, whether it is a tan or a sunburn should be considered as damage to your skin
7. Jump in the pool or ocean. Here in South Florida we are surrounded by water, literally. We have the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, Lake Okeechobee, countless smaller lakes and millions of swimming pools. Take advantage of the water that surrounds us and keep cool in it.
8. Eat and drink in moderation. Opt for lighter meals during the summer, like salads, fruits, and cold soups. Look for foods with hydrating properties such as cucumbers and watermelon. Lemon water and cold teas are a great way to thirst your quench.
9. Limit physical activity. There’s a reason they Siesta in Mexico, it’s too hot in the middle of the day to work, outside at least. It is a time to relax, and recharge, away from the heat of the day
10. Don’t forget your pets. Our furry friends need as much protection from the sun and heat as we do. If you have an “outside” pet, make sure they have a shaded area to rest, with an unlimited supply of fresh water. Don’t leave your pet in the car during summer, this is the most common cause of heatstroke in pets.
Article by Tee Wilson