5 Tips for Staying Cool During the Dog Days of Summer

Now that summer is in full swing, you may be looking for easy (and cheap) ways to stay cool. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of ways to keep comfortable this season that don’t involve cranking up your air conditioner or relocating your family until the temperatures start to drop in a few months!

It’s important to keep yourself cool when temperatures get dangerously high outside. Doing so will help protect you from the dangers associated with excessive heat, including heat stroke and exhaustion.

Follow these tips to stay safe and make the most of the season.

Stay hydrated

Regardless of how much time you intend to spend outside in the heat, be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Steer clear of sugary soft drinks, juices, and anything containing alcohol. These drinks may seem refreshing, but they will cause you to crave more sugar and empty calories. Stick with water. To determine how much water you should drink in a day, you can multiply your weight (in pounds) by 0.08. The total from your calculation will be the amount of 8 oz. cups you need to drink to stay hydrated.

Wear loose-fitting clothing

In addition to staying hydrated while enjoying the summer weather, it’s important to be mindful of what you’re wearing. Many people choose to exercise during this time of year, and if this is something you do, then be sure to wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Wearing dark-colored, and tight, restrictive clothing will draw heat and trap it close to your body. That can lead to feeling uncomfortable and becoming overheated. Also, if you choose to exercise outdoors, limit your amount of physical activity so you don’t fall victim to heat exhaustion. Know the warning signs – dizziness, confusion, headache, and rapid pulse.

Don’t use your oven

It goes without saying that using your oven to prepare meals will naturally generate a lot of heat in your home. This will make your family hot and uncomfortable and force your air conditioner to work overtime to cool things off. Instead, try to prepare meals outside on a grill if possible, or eat foods that don’t require heating, such as salads or sandwiches. Smaller, light meals are better for helping you to keep cool during the summer since heavy meals like steak and potatoes make you feel much warmer as the food is being processed by your body.

Plan “cool” activities for your kids

Kids can easily become overheated and they may not know the warning signs of heat exhaustion. Therefore, it’s important to keep them in a cool and comfortable environment on days when the temperatures are dangerously high. Instead of going to the park where the playground equipment is sizzling hot from the sun, try to plan “cooler” activities with your family. Maybe there’s a new movie you could go see at the local air-conditioned theater, or maybe you could plan a trip to a water park. If you’re staying at home, come up with things to help keep your kids entertained, such as playing board games, drawing, or yes – even watching TV!

Keep your curtains and blinds closed

While you may want to let natural light into your home during the day, keeping your curtains and blinds open can let in a lot of unwanted heat, especially if the sun is beating in directly. During the day, keep them closed so your air conditioner doesn’t have to work harder than it should to keep your family cool. At night, if the temperatures have dropped, you could turn your air conditioner off and prop a fan in an open window. This will let fresh air and help to keep you cool while you sleep.

One final note: Don’t forget your pets!

Along with keeping yourself cool and comfortable this summer, don’t forget about the health and safety of your pets. If possible, keep your pet inside the home where the temperature is regulated. Also, be sure to keep your pet’s water dish full so they can stay hydrated.