It’s Hot – Surviving Summer Heat

Posted by on Jul 4, 2014 in Blog

It’s Hot – Surviving Summer Heat

Image from http://www.coyote-tv.com/

Las Vegas Summer Heat

Most who live in Vegas came from somewhere else with harsher winters and more moderate summers.  As you know, in Vegas, the humidity is typically low and the summer time temperatures can be unbearable.  Temperatures seem to increase each year due to the heat island effect (concrete, asphalt and buildings retaining the day’s heat) and the drought conditions we have been experiencing.

Here are some simple reminders to help stay safe this summer:

  • Become acclimated gradually to the hot summer temperatures.
  • Pace yourself.  Your output will not be the same during excessive temperatures.
  • Stay away from caffeine, soda and alcohol – it interferes with your body’s ability to cool itself.
  • Keep water close at hand and drink often
  • When the humidity is higher your body’s ability to cool is much less affective so take more breaks and drink more water.
  • If you stop sweating and start cramping you are already in trouble so get cooled off and hydrated.  Don’t wait.
  • The physics of heat exchange is important to keep top of mind (more on this below)
  •  The most common symptoms of heat illness are nausea, vomiting, headache, weakness, or an altered mental state (confused, raving, aggressive, rambling incoherently).  Get cooled off now if you experience these symptoms.
  • Your dog or cat know to stay in the shade so “stay in the shade” as much as possible

Sweating and evaporation is how your body naturally cools itself; much like the evaporative or swamp cooler cools the air in homes or at work.  The hotter it becomes, the higher the humidity and a lack of breeze reduces the bodies cooling ability.  Adding physical exertion or exercise creates additional internal heat and requires additional evaporative cooling, hence, the need to pace yourself to balance heat buildup and heat exchange.  Pay attention to your body and stay ahead of the heat exchange curve so you never have to experience heat exhaustion or heat stroke (heat stress).

Acclimate, stay hydrated, pace yourself, listen to what your body is telling you and know the signs of heat stress to stay safe in the Nevada desert heat this summer.

Next post I will share some tricks to stay cool learned over a lifetime as a desert dweller.

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