Sunscreen and water is a good start, but there are other things you can do to stay cool when it’s hot outside.
Medical Officer of Health with Hastings-Prince Edward Public Health Piotr Oglaza explains that what you need to do to stay cool depends on what you’re doing as well as your over health. Regardless, he says staying out in extreme heat can lead to heat stroke, heat exhaustion or fainting among other health problems.
He points out that swelling of your hands, feet or ankles is a sign you need to cool down. If you notice rashes on your body or start getting muscle cramps those are other signs that the heat is getting to you. If you start feeling the effects of the heat, Oglaza says cooling off in an air-conditioned building is a good thing to do. He adds that taking a cool shower helps as well, if possible. If you know you’re doing to be outside for a while, Oglaza suggests wearing loose-fitting, breathable clothing. “This will help to reduce stress on the body,” he says.
When it comes to sunscreen, Oglaza says you should always be wearing one with an SPF of at least 30. He adds that which sunscreen is right for you depends on what skin type you are. You can find more sunscreen tips on Public Health’s website.
Oglaza says that while heading to the patio for drinks with friends is a must-do when the temperature is warm, it’s not the best way to stay hydrated. Since alcohol is a diuretic, it won’t keep you hydrated. Water has always been and will always be the best way to stay hydrated when it’s hot out, Oglaza says. “Drink before you feel thirsty just to keep the body hydrated,” he adds.
Oglaza also reminds everyone to never leave kids or pets in cars when it’s hot out. “If you leave a car in the sun the temperature inside goes up very quickly,” he says.
Written by Mathew Reisler