How To Stay Cool During A Heat Wave: Safety Tips

A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessive heat, typically accompanied by high humidity. Heat waves can be dangerous, as they can lead to dehydration, heatstroke, and other health problems.

In the US and UK, heat waves have disrupted regular life. Unfortunately, heat waves are becoming more and more common due to climate change, so it's important to be aware of the risks and how to stay safe. It's crucial to stay cool during a heat wave!

So, how do you survive heat waves? We've got answers for you. Here are some safety tips to stay cool during a heat wave:

1. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and avoid alcoholic beverages.

A woman wearing a bath robe drinks water from a glass indoors during a heat wave.

It's important to keep the body cool during a heat wave by staying hydrated and avoiding alcoholic beverages. It's best if you drink more water — aim for 10 glasses of water a day — than usual because your body will be losing a lot of water because of the heat.

Stay away from alcoholic drinks as much as possible, as they can actually cause you to lose more body fluid than you take in. It's best to stick to water, juices, and other non-alcoholic drinks. It's also a good idea to have a water bottle on you at all times.

2. Stay in air-conditioned areas as much as possible.

As the temperature rises, so does the risk of heat-related illness. Heat waves can pose a serious threat to public health, as they can lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and even death.

One way to stay cool is by staying in air-conditioned areas as much as possible. This can be difficult during a prolonged heat wave, but it's important to take breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned space to avoid over-heating. If you don't have access to an air conditioner, use a ceiling fan or a table fan.

And be sure to drink plenty of fluids, even if you're not thirsty — this is one of the most important heat wave safety tips! Water is the best choice, but fruit juice and sports drinks can also help you stay hydrated and energized. By taking these simple precautions, you can help keep yourself safe during a heat wave.

3. Use sunscreen, wear loose, light-colored clothing, and use hats/umbrellas

A man applies sunscreen on his arm when outside during a heat wave. Holding a sunscreen bottle in one hand.

These summer rules become even more important during a heat wave — use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, wear loose, light-colored clothing, and make use of the shade provided by hats and umbrellas.

Sunscreen is absolutely essential in protecting your skin from the sun's harmful UV rays during this heat wave. Make sure you use one that has an SPF of at least 30. Apply a golfball-sized amount of sunscreen to your whole body. Reapply every few hours, especially after sweating or swimming. Wondering if you can apply sunscreen on babies? This article will help you out.

Now, let's take a look at the type of clothing that is best for a heat wave. Loose clothing helps to increase airflow and reduce the amount of body heat that is trapped close to the skin. Light colors reflect sunlight and help to keep your skin temperature down. It's recommended that you wear cotton or linen clothes, as these fabrics are breathable and gentle on the skin.

Additionally, if you are going out, wear hats or use umbrellas to protect yourself from the sun. Physical shades are very important!

4. Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day.

During a heat wave, it's best to avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day — typically between 10 am and 4 pm. So try not to tend to your garden or do some yardwork when the sun is shining mercilessly outside. In fact, it's best to avoid going out at all between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm. 

If you must go out or be active outdoors, take frequent breaks in a cool, shady area. And don't forget to drink plenty of fluids! Even if you're not thirsty, it's important to keep your body hydrated by sipping on water or other non-alcoholic beverages. Carry a water bottle with you at all times. 

5. Check on vulnerable family members, friends, and neighbors.

A man holding a grocery bag and talking on the phone with his friend during a heat wave. Concept of helping out family, friends, and neighbors during a heat wave, calling to provide help.

During a heat wave, it's important to check in on vulnerable family members, friends, and neighbors — especially those who are elderly or have chronic health conditions.

If you have a close friend or family member who is elderly or has a chronic health condition, make sure to check in on them frequently during a heat wave. Bring them some ice-cold water or lemonade and offer to do errands for them so they don't have to go out in the heat.

You can also check on neighbors who don't have air conditioning or live alone. Just a friendly phone call or visit can make all the difference during a heat wave.

6. Never leave children or pets alone in a car

This summer safety rule is always important, but it becomes even more critical during a heat wave. Never leave children or pets alone in a car, even for a minute!

Cars can quickly become ovens during hot weather, and the temperature inside can rise to dangerous levels in a matter of minutes. Children and pets are especially vulnerable to heat-related illness, as their bodies are not able to regulate temperature as effectively as adults.

So if you're running errands, be sure to leave your children and pets at home where it's cool and comfortable.

7. Use a water spray to keep yourself cool.

During a heat wave, one way to keep yourself cool is by using a water spray bottle. Just fill up the bottle with cold water and give yourself a light misting when you start to feel too hot.

You can also soak a bandana or handkerchief in water and tie it around your neck. The evaporating water will help to cool your skin and make you more comfortable in the heat.

8. Take particular care of babies and pets.

A baby and a German shepherd dog sitting together on a bed during heat wave. Concept of keeping kids and pets indoors during summer.

During a heat wave, it's important to take extra care of babies and pets.

Babies and young children are more susceptible to heat-related illness because their bodies are not able to regulate temperature as effectively as adults.

So, be sure to keep your little ones cool and hydrated during hot weather. Make sure their room stays cool, give them daily cool baths if needed, and use gentle bathing products on them! Dress them only in loose cotton clothing. It's also important to take care of their skin during summer, as it is particularly sensitive and prone to dryness.

Pets can also be at risk during a heat wave. Never leave them alone in a car, and make sure they have plenty of cool water to drink. It's best to keep them inside an air-conditioned room or on the floor under a ceiling fan.

If possible, don't let your pets go out during the hours between 10 am and 4 pm, when the sun is the hottest. If they do go out, make sure they have access to water and shade. If you take them out for walks, make sure to do so during the evening, when the weather is cooler. Remember that the hot tar of roads can burn your pet's paws!

9. Know the signs of heat-related illness and what to do if someone is affected.

If you or someone you're with starts to experience symptoms of a heat-related illness (such as a heat stroke), it's important to take action immediately. Symptoms include:

- headache
- nausea
- vomiting
- dizziness
- weakness
- confusion
- muscle cramps

If you or someone you're with starts to experience these symptoms, move to a cool, shady area and see if it's possible to consume some fluids. If the symptoms persist or worsen, rush to a hospital or call an ambulance immediately.

By following these simple tips, you can help keep yourself and your loved ones safe and cool during a heat wave. It's a good idea to keep reading news articles that address heat wave safety tips, so that you can be well-informed at all times.

Stay safe and beat the heat!

If you wish to take care of your skin and hair with USDA Certified organic products that are gentle and nourishing in this hot weather, check out Nature's Baby Organics. Our minimally processed, cruelty-free, dermatologist-approved, toxin-free, and fragrance-free products are good not just for babies but for the whole family, and particularly those with sensitive skin.

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