Heat Wave In The West

July 1, 2013

Mad SunflowerIf you live in the western US, you already know that there’s a heatwave. You may or may not have noticed headlines reporting the dangers of the heat wave. Humans and their pets are at risk for burns, dehydration, and heat stroke, but here’s how to avoid it:

-Drink water steadily. While you should really do this anyway, it’s doubly important when the temperature rises, especially anytime you’re out doors. Athletes, concert goers, and pets have all gotten caught without it and ended up at the doctor’s. Keep an extra water bottle in your bag or car (if you hate water, try an electrolyte drink. Coconut water is a great option!).

-Beware hot surfaces. The sun is cooking sidewalks, playgrounds, and even your car (which can actually get as hot as 200 degrees, even in shade!). Don’t leave dogs or kids out unattended, and try to plan your outdoor time during the cooler parts of the day (including dog walking—their foot pads can get burned too!).

-And sunburn! There are lots of great alternative sunscreens, but for the level of sun the west is getting, you might be best off with some zinc rubbed on your nose 1970’s lifeguard style. You can also wear light, long sleeves; pants; and hats to help keep it off you (think muslin) and stick to the shade if at all possible. Don’t forget sunglasses to protect your eyes, too!

If you do get burned, coupled with your risk for dehydration, it might be a good idea to see a doctor. If it’s just a standard sunburn, you can help treat it with three things:

-Plenty of water (to drink)

-Aloe vera (or a skin ointment with aloe as the main ingredient)

-Some colloidal silver sprayed on the burns. Silver has a longstanding traditional use helping skin heal from burns and is still used in hospitals.

If it hurts, try taking colder shower for a while, and wear softer clothing that breathes well. (Or do what I did as a kid: put some aloe on and park in front of a fan. Continue to layer the aloe on).

How are you beating the heat?

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