Want to know how to beat the heat? Here's a few tips from Anthony Ardolino, M.D., senior associate dean of academic and student affairs at the Quinnipiac University School of Medicine:
- Common sense – limit exposure to sun and use sunscreen; loose clothing, hats or sun umbrellas, light fabrics, avoid strenuous outside activities during daylight.
- Most important – liquids – drink water frequently, including before entering the heat. The single most important way to prevent heat stroke is to be well hydrated (to allow sweating/evaporation which cools). In contrast, limit intake of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, which are both diuretics and may lead to dehydration.
- Less intuitive – wear light colors, which reflect sunlight (black absorbs); if exercise/strenuous work is required, do it early or late in the day; patients on certain medications are at greater risk (diuretics for hypertension, etc. - patients should check with their healthcare provider); if physical activity is required, do not use antiperspirants (again, sweating cools).
- Warning signs – worsening fatigue, fever, confusion, light-headedness, dry skin – when sweating stops, it is time to worry and drink liquids.
- People at the extremes of age (very young and elders) are at risk, as are overweight people (less surface area compared to body weight, so less evaporation).
And if you're looking to cool off, you can always jump in the water at or swing by the air-conditioned .