It's summer, which means that the sun is in its full, scorching glory. While hot weather is great for sipping drinks by the pool or rocking your new sundress, it can also make for some pretty scary side effects. With heat advisories in effect in parts of the country, it's time to break out the safety tips. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and sun poisoning are nothing to mess around with — take it from a girl who's been dumb in the past, and experienced all of these things. (I grew up playing golf in South Florida ... the summer struggle was so real, guys.)
You may not think these things can happen to you, but when temps all over the country are rising to between 80 and 100-plus degrees, it's much easier to get overheated than you think. As it is, doctors estimate that 75 percent of us live in a chronic state of dehydration. So what does all of that mean? Basically, summer months are not always our friend, and we need to be extra careful in order to prevent dehydration and other heat-related illnesses.
If you have to be outside this summer, or don't have air conditioning in your building, here are eight ways to stay safe during a heat wave.
1. Watch the weather
When temps get super high, your local station will issue a heat advisory. Pay attention to these, and stay indoors when possible.
2. Drink plenty of water
This may seem like an obvious one, but drinking plenty of water keeps you hydrated and regulates your body temp. Aim for half your body weight in ounces. If you think you or a friend may be suffering from heat-related illness, try switching to a sports drink that contains electrolytes.
3. Invest in a good fan
If you don't have AC in your building, this is a must. Try placing ice-cold water bottles in front of the fan to cool down even faster.
4. If you don't have AC, find a place that does
Again, if you don't have air conditioning, it's totally fine to head over to the closest coffee shop and park yourself in the cool air for a few hours.
5. Avoid alcohol or caffeine
Alcohol and caffeine majorly dehydrate you. If you need to have some pool drinks (and sometimes, you do), make sure you're alternating them with water.
6. Wear SPF
Skin cancer is no bueno. Make sure you're slathering on sunscreen every chance you get.
7. Take it easy
Get ready for a movie marathon, because on days like this, it's just too hot to even bother dealing with life outside.
8. Keep your fur babies cool
Would you want to wear a fur coat in this blazing heat? Yeah, I didn't think so. Don't make your babies walk on scalding black pavement, give them plenty of water, and don't leave them in a hot car — oh, and give them lots of kisses, because they're presh. <3
Looking for more instant ways to beat the heat this summer? Check out these genius cooling tricks, and for more life hacks, visit Bustle on YouTube.