Stefanie Cope

Staff Writer

Summer has arrived and the days are heating up fast and local residents and officials have a few suggestions for staying cool.

Matthew Pierce said popsicles are wonderful on a hot day.

Popsicles are a great way to stay hydrated in the summer. It gives many people a chance to slow down, enjoy something tasty and replenish themselves.

Amy Newcomb said do not stay outside too long.

Many organizations, doctors and just common people will say the same thing. Try not to stay out in the heat for long periods of time. Staying outside for to long can cause heat sickness and other health problems.

Pierce also suggested geting out and playing in the water.

Take a couple of hours to head to the pool and stay in the cool water for a while. The cool water can make any hot day more bearable.

Lori Ferraro of the Cherokee County Health Department had a few tips for beating the summer heat as well.

Keep hydrated.

Drink before you get thirsty. Typically when a person starts feeling thirsty it means they are already well on their way to dehydration. Keep bottles of water handy and drink as often as possible.

Wear sunglasses and hats.

Not only are sunglasses and hats stylish and fun, they protect the eyes and face from harmful sun rays.

Wear sunscreen.

Not only wear it, make sure to re-apply it often. Sunscreen can help prevent painful sunburns, blisters and peeling skin. No matter the age, always wear sunscreen when outdoors for long periods of time. Also do not forget to apply sunscreen cloudy days. Even though the sun is not visible it can still damage the skin.

Take frequent breaks.

Do not over exert yourself. It can be easy to do and can cause sickness. Make sure to take breaks in the shade for a while and drink some cool water.

Ferraro also said to watch out for the symptoms of Heat Exhaustion. Heat Exhaustion is very common in the late spring and summer and if people know the symptoms medical help can be found quickly.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

• Headaches

• Fatigue

• Nausea

• Dizziness

• Excessive sweating

If any of the previously mentioned symptoms are experienced seek medical attention.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency had a few safety tips to consider as the summer heats up.

• Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities. Circulating air can cool the body by increasing the perspiration rate of evaporation.

Spending time indoors and in the cool air limits exposure to the sun and the heat. Staying out of the heat means staying healthy.

• Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.

Dressing in light colors helps to reflect sunlight while spending time outside and covering as much skin as possible limits the exposure your skin gets to the sun. Heavy exposure to the sun can cause skin problems later in life.

• Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.

Make sure family members and older community members are able to stay out the heat. Young children and older people are more susceptible to heat sicknesses.

FEMA also has a list of terms that everyone should be aware of for summer safety.

Extreme heat terms to know:

• Heat Wave: Prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with excessive humidity.

• Heat Index: A number in degrees Fahrenheit (F) that tells how hot it feels when when relative humidity is added to the air temperature. Exposure to full sunshine can increase the heat index by 15 degrees.

• Heat Cramps: Muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. Although heat cramps are the least severe, they are often the first signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.

*Heat Exhaustion: Typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim’s condition will worsen. Body temperature will keep rising and the victim may suffer heat stroke.

• Heat Stroke: A life-threatening condition. The victim’s temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly.

• Sun Stroke: Another term for heat stroke.