Tips to Beat the Heat
Aging and Independence Services offers Cool Zones to help older adults keep cool during hot summer days. But there are other things people can do to beat the heat:
- Slow down. Be your most physically active during the coolest part of the day, usually between 4-7 a.m. Pace yourself when engaging in physical activity.
- Stay indoors as much as possible. If air conditioning is not being used, stay on the lowest floor. Keep shades down and blinds closed, but windows slightly open.
- Go to a Cool Zone site on hot days.
- Electric fans do not cool the air, but they do help sweat evaporate, which cools your body.
- Take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath.
- Avoid using the oven.
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun’s heat.
- Air out hot cars before getting into them.
- Never leave children or pets inside vehicles at any time, even with the windows cracked. Temperatures inside a vehicle can reach lethal levels no matter what the weather is like.
- Drink more fluids than usual even if you do not feel thirsty.
- Water is the safest liquid to drink during heat emergencies. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine; they make the heat’s effects on your body worse.
- Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increases metabolic heat.
- Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
- If you take diuretics, ask your physician about a lower dosage during hot weather.
- If it is safe to do so, leave windows open at night. Open windows on two sides to create cross ventilation.
- Place a piece of cardboard covered with aluminum foil in sunny windows to reflect sunlight and heat away from the house.
- Vacuum, clean or replace air filters regularly for maximum cooling efficiency.
- If affordable, install outdoor awnings or sunscreens.
- Call your physician if you feel you may be experiencing a heat-related illness.
For more information, contact San Diego County’s Aging and Independence Services by email or by phone 800-510-2020.