Keep it Cool this Summer
In the Lompoc Valley, residents are more apt to start worrying about high temperatures in the fall, when our area traditionally sees the mercury climb in September and October.
School is out now, Flower Festival is around the corner, and word comes that temperatures are expected to be on the rise in the next few days.
No June Gloom, for the time being at least.
With that in mind, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is hoping to remind people that keeping cool when temperatures reach record highs isn’t just about comfort.
Dangerously high temperatures can result in heat‐related illnesses ranging from heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke and might send you to the Emergency Department for medical assistance.
The following tips can help you keep cool all summer.
- Pay special attention to the elderly, infants, and anyone with a chronic illness, as they may dehydrate easily and be more susceptible to heat‐related illnesses.
- Don't forget that pets also need protection from dehydration and heat‐related illnesses too. Using a cool or wet cloth on a pet can help cool their core temperatures as well. And make sure to keep their drinking water full, clean and fresh.
- Alter your pattern of outdoor exercise to take advantage of cooler times (early morning or late evening). If you can't change the time of your workout, scale it down by doing fewer minutes, walking instead of running, or decreasing your level of exertion.
- Wear loose‐fitting clothing, preferably of a light color. Cotton clothing will keep you cooler than many synthetics.
- Fill a spray bottle with water and keep it in the refrigerator for a quick refreshing spray to your face after being outdoors. Keep plastic bottles of water in the freezer; grab one when you're ready to go outside. As the ice melts, you'll have a supply of cold water.
- Fans can help circulate air and make you feel cooler even in an air‐conditioned house. Hand-held fans are also handy to have at your desk or in your lounge chair, just to stir the air around.
- Combat dehydration by drinking plenty of water along with sports drinks or other sources of electrolytes. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as these will promote dehydration. Try to drink at least a gallon of liquid a day.
- Instead of hot foods, try lighter summer fare including frequent small meals or snacks containing cold fruit or low-fat dairy products. As an added benefit, you won't have to cook next to a hot stove.
- If you don't have air‐conditioning, arrange to spend at least parts of the day in a shopping mall, public library, movie theater, or other public space that is cool.
- Finally, use common sense. If the heat is intolerable, stay indoors when you can and avoid activities in direct sunlight or on hot asphalt surfaces.
For more information about staying cool during summer, see the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.