Living Well

5 ways to beat the heat this summer

Dr. Andrew Mayer, Medical Director of Emergency Department
5 ways to beat the heat this summer

Summers can be scorching hot, especially here in the south when the humidity is off the charts.

When the temps rise, try these five tips to help your family beat the heat. Staying cool will not only keep you more comfortable, but also help protect your family against heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Remember to use caution and practice social distancing in public places to keep your family and others healthy.

1. Stay in the air conditioning
Take a break from the heat by doing activities with your kids inside, such as cracking open some good books, doing puzzles, planning scavenger hunts, building forts, and diving into arts and crafts. Just a few hours in chilly air will help your kids’ bodies manage heat better.

2. Splash around
No pool at home? Set up a kiddie pool or water table in your backyard. Consider signing your kids up for swimming lessons at our West Jefferson Fitness Center. They offer a safe and fun environment for children and adults of all ages to develop and improve aquatic skills while learning about water safety.

3. Eat light
The best foods for hot days are cool, light, and easy on the stomach. A hot, heavy meal will just make you feel warmer and uncomfortable. Chilled fruit, crisp salads, and light sandwiches are good options on hot days.

4. Sip plenty of water
This is an important one! Your body loses a lot of fluid when you sweat, so it’s easy to become dehydrated in hotter temperatures. Be sure to monitor your kids and make sure they drink enough water throughout the day. Children should avoid sugary beverages, which can make their bodies lose fluid faster.

5. Dress for the heat
Wear loose, breathable, light-colored clothing. When your kids go outside, let them pick out their favorite wide-brimmed baseball hat and sunglasses to protect their faces from the sun. Always apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater at least 30 minutes before going outside and reapply often.

If you or a family member start experiencing signs and symptoms of heatstroke or heat exhaustion, don’t delay getting the care needed. Take immediate action to cool the overheated person while waiting for emergency treatment by getting them into the shade or indoors if possible, remove excess clothing, and fan or mist them with cool water around their head and neck.

Call 9-1-1 or visit our West Jefferson Emergency Room where our medical staff will work diligently to have you initially seen by a physician within 30 minutes of your arrival.

Learn more about our Adult ER Online Check-in feature.
Learn more about our Pediatric ER Online Check-in feature.

About Dr. Andrew Mayer:
Dr. Andrew (Andy) Mayer is a board certified emergency physician and is the medical director of the West Jefferson Medical Center's Emergency Department. He grew up on the Westbank and has been proudly working at West Jefferson for the last thirty years.