Extreme heat is becoming a reality for more people across the globe as the frequency and length of heat waves increase each year.
The latest U.S. heat wave is one among many across the globe disrupting life and putting people at risk of heat-related illnesses and death.
As temperatures around the world continue to rise, it is important to learn how to stay cool and avoid heat stroke and exhaustion.
Keep scrolling for tips on how to beat the extreme heat, even without air conditioning.
1. Use box and ceiling fans.
For those without air conditioning, you can create an at-home air circulation system using box and/or ceiling fans.
Keep doors and windows open during the evening to bring cool air in and use box fans to push any hot air outdoors. When the temperatures begin to rise during the day, shut all doors and windows to keep in the cool air for as long as possible.
Aiming a box fan at an open cooler or a pan filled with ice can also help cool those off who sit in its path during the hot, summer months.
2. Hydrate and cool off with water.
Maintain an adequate level of hydration by consuming more water than usual. It is important to drink a sufficient amount of water before you feel thirsty, which is a sign of dehydration.
Caffeine and alcoholic beverages are fluids to avoid because they too promote dehydration.
Some other ways to use water to stay cool include soaking your feet in a bucket of water, placing wet towels on the shoulders or head, taking cold showers or baths, and filling spray bottles with cold water to spritz during the day.
3. Stay in the downstairs area or a basement.
The upper areas of a home tend to be warmer than the ground floor since hot air rises. Try heading downstairs or staying in the basement to cool off amid sweltering heat.
4. Eliminate unnecessary heat sources.
Incandescent light bulbs, computers, and other appliances can generate extra, unnecessary sources of heat. Try unplugging electronics and eating fresh foods that don’t require an oven or stove to make.
5. Visit public buildings with air conditioning.
Libraries, shopping malls, and movie theaters are a few of many public areas that can serve as escapes from the heat.
6. Know the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms of heat exhaustion can include heavy sweating; cold, pale, and clammy skin; a fast, weak pulse; nausea or vomiting; muscle cramps; fatigue; dizziness; or headaches and fainting.
Knowing the signs of heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat rash, and heat stroke can help address the illness before it becomes severe.
In the event of a heat emergency, call 911 and try to cool off until help arrives.
Pets too can suffer from heat-related illnesses and show similar signs and symptoms. Call your veterinarian if you believe your pet is experiencing a heat stroke.