No, it’s not just you. Record-breaking heat waves have been happening all across the world this summer. And even the most prepared folks have been finding something to sweat about.
To help you keep your family safe and cool, we’ve compiled some tips to help you fight back against the heat this season. Here’s how you can bring the chill when faced with some seriously high temperatures.
Stay inside when the sun’s rays are strongest
You can’t always stay inside during a heat wave, but it’s important to stay inside when you can. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 AM and 2 PM, which makes it critical to wear sunscreen and sunglasses during this time.
When the sun’s rays are strongest, the daily temperature is at its hottest and your risk for sunburn and eye damage goes up. Use a sunscreen that’s SPF 30 or higher 30 minutes before going outside to keep your skin, and kids’ skin, protected. Reapply it every two to four hours.
Remember that you’re not just protecting yourself and your kids from sunburn but also from skin cancer. Up to 28,630 people are diagnosed with brain and spinal cancer annually, but one in five people will develop skin cancer in the U.S. by the age of 70. Broad-spectrum, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sunscreens are your best friend.
Keep everyone hydrated
It’s important to make sure everyone is drinking enough water during the summer months, especially during a heat wave. Your body loses a lot of water when you sweat and it’s up to you to make sure you’re refilling the tank.
However, it can get pricey to buy bottled water. Families in the U.S. spend about $1.22 per gallon on bottled water every year, and global consumption of bottled water increases 10% each year. Consider investing in reusable water bottles for each of your kids so you can refill them without spending the money and using the plastic.
Consider having foods that have high water content during snack time, too. Watermelon, cucumbers, strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches, and oranges are each high in water content and make for great hydrating snacks.
Never leave your kids in the car
Even if your air conditioning is running, it’s extremely dangerous to leave your kids in the car during the summer. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, whether it’s from sweltering temperatures, locking you out of the car, playing with windows, or gear-shifted accidents.
Leaving your kids in the car unattended also puts them at risk of car accidents due to other drivers’ negligence. Up to 481,000 drivers use their cellphones while driving, especially in parking lots.
While it may seem harmless to leave your child in the car for a very small amount of time to run an errand, the consequences can’t be undone if something were to happen. That said, even if your child is sleeping and it seems like a hassle to get them out of the car to do something small, let the hassle happen and keep your family safe.
If you’re among the two-thirds of U.S. households with air conditioning, consider yourself lucky, but also remember to change your HVAC air filters every three months. With rising temperatures and the risk of heat waves, it’s critical to keep yourself and your family safe, cool, and hydrated. By following the tips above and sticking to areas that offer air conditioning when you’re out of the house, you can reduce your family’s risk of heat exhaustion, skin cancer, and dehydration.