July 4th: Hot, Hot, and Hotter
As Independence Day draws near, many Hoosier families will no doubt be celebrating our nation’s birthday in a variety of ways. Some families may decide to partake in the local parade, attend the annual cookout, or take the opportunity to cool off at the city pool. Whatever your plan this Independence Day, one thing is for certain, you will need a plan to staying cool in extreme heat like we are experiencing.
While enjoying 4th of July festivities, Hoosiers must be aware of the dangerous levels of heat and humidity that often accompany our nation’s birthday. Staying out in the sun for long extended periods of time can leave Hoosiers more apt to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and even heat stroke.
Hoosiers who do plan to be out in the presence of the sun for an extended amount of time can take several easy steps to help ensure a joyous celebration.
Water is key. Drink plenty of water even if you are not thirsty. According to the Indiana Department of Labor (IDL), water consumption should be done on a regular basis when dealing with the heat. Being thirsty should not be the indicator of drinking more water. The IDL also states water should be consumed at a rate of five to seven ounces every fifteen to twenty minutes. The heat and humidity will drain your body of its fluids faster than normal and they need to be replaced.
Sunscreen is also a helpful tool when combating the sun, heat, and humidity. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wearing a sunscreen with at least an SPF 15 rating or higher is recommended. Also, when applying the sunscreen you will want to apply to skin approximately half an hour before being out in the sun and then apply as needed or as directed by the label, according to the CDC.
Rest, according to the IDL, is another weapon to fight against the heat and humidity and breaks should be taken regularly. Finally, when dealing with the heat and humidity know your limits and do not over do it, because heat related illnesses are 100 percent preventable, according to the IDL.
For more information when dealing with the heat and humidity and ways to protect yourself from extreme heat conditions, you can contact the Center For Disease Control at 1- 800-232-4636 and at their website at www.cdc.gov.
Finally, to all Hoosiers this Independence Day, as you spend time celebrating with family and friends please take time to reflect on our country’s birthday and our founding fathers who helped make this the greatest country on earth. Have a safe and happy 4th of July!