The heat is so out of control this summer that we at deTeched want to help you stay cool no matter the technology involved. There are reports that the Southwest is going to reach dangerous temperatures with some cities hitting 120 degrees. Humans aren’t built to withstand temperatures above 98.6F well according to a report from National Geographic. That means the most obvious thing you can do is stay out of the sun. That also means do not, under any circumstances, leave a child or pet unattended in a car for any amount of time. With an outside temperature of 90 degrees, an unattended car can reach 160 degrees in a matter of minutes. 160 degrees is lethal especially to infants who can’t regulate their own body temperature as well as adults, and it’s just as lethal to pets who have a coat of hair. Don’t do it.
Also, if you are fortunate enough to have the means to stay cool, think about others to help them avoid risks from the heat. Elderly are especially susceptible to death by heat. If you have grandparents, aunts, and uncles who don’t have good ways to cool off, think about picking them up and sharing in your air-conditioned home until the heat comes down. It’s a good excuse to spend more time with loved ones.
Homeless people are also susceptible to heat – if you’re the philanthropic type, consider filling up an ice chest of water bottles and handing them out to those in need.
Here are deTeched’s 10 best ways to stay cool in the scorching heat with technology being the last things on our minds.
Drink lots of water all day long. You should be urinating frequently and it should be relatively clear. If it comes out dark then you’re not doing your body any favors in helping itself stay cool. The body uses water to regulate its temperature through sweat and evaporative cooling. In temperatures above 100 degrees, you might need to drink more than 1.5L of water an hour. Drinking ice-cold water will also help bring your body core temperature down so load up your fridge or freezer with bottles of water and sip on them throughout the day. You can also load up your pet’s water bowls with ice water too.
Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages which cause your body to dehydrate faster.
Head to a public library for the day, or go watch a movie
Public libraries are one of the best ways to stay cool. They have AC and offer a free place to read or enjoy free WiFi to help you beat the heat. You pay for them with your tax dollars so put them to use. All cities who go through extreme high temps encourage their citizens to take advantage of this free service as well as using their public pools too. If you don’t mind spending a few dollars, go watch a movie. It’s a great way to kill three hours in the middle of the day.
Wear light-colored clothing and a wide-brimmed hat
If you do need to venture outside, make sure you wear light-colored clothing. The darker the clothing the more heat that is absorbed from the sun. Light colors reflect more wavelengths from the sun making them the ideal colors to wear. A wide-brimmed hat will also help keep your head cool too.
You can also pick up a neck towel for $7 on Amazon. It absorbs water and helps keep you cool no matter where you are. It’s low tech but it is very effective.
Block out the sun in your home
A simple and effective way to reduce the temperature in your home is to black out your windows. Using blackout shades, which cost as little as $9 on Amazon can reduce the temperature in your home by as little as three degrees to as much as 10 degrees. It all depends on how well your home is built and insulated too. If you don’t want to put up blackout shades, simply hang towels, sheets and/or blankets on all of your windows. Your neighbors may not like the look of your windows, but they’ll understand since they will be suffering from the heat too. You can also put a reflective coating on your windows to permanently reduce the heat that is allowed into your home.
Take a cold shower or bath
You can help yourself stay cool by sitting in your own personal swimming pool inside of your bathroom. The cool water from the shower or bath will help your system cool down and will give your body a break from trying to cool itself off. If you have an iPhone 7 or Galaxy S7 or S8, you can even bring the phone into the bath with you since they are water-resistant.
Put your sheets in the freezer
You can make it a little easier to fall asleep by chilling your sheets in the freezer before bed. This obviously won’t keep you cool all night long, but it will help bring your body temperature down enough to help you get to sleep. Put your sheets in a plastic bag before sending them into the freezer to avoid picking up any food smells. You can also put some clothing or damp towels in the freezer to use as well.
Freeze water bottles
Frozen water bottles are a great way to stay cool. Once frozen they can be wrapped in a towel and you can put them on your neck, wrist, groin, ankles and behind the knees (areas where your skin is the thinnest), or you can sleep with them too. Remember water expands as it freezes so take some out of the bottle before freezing them to prevent overflow.
Stay as low as you can
Heat rises. If you have multiple levels in your home then stay on the bottom floor or in the basement.
Turn off the lights and any other non-essential appliances
This one is pretty obvious but anything that uses power will generate heat. Don’t turn on the lights, don’t turn on the stove or oven and don’t have a TV on in the background if you’re not watching it. Grab a book or magazine instead.
Avoid hot foods
Drinking cold water will help bring your body temperature down. Eating hot foods will obviously bring your temperature up. Consider eating fruit, salads or other foods that don’t require heating throughout the day. Also, not all foods are digested equally. Protein and fats require your body to use more energy to break them down, and more energy equals more heat. Eat small and frequent meals consisting of low-fat dairy, veggies, and grains.
Stay cool and stay safe. Check your local government’s website for free locations to avoid the summer heat.