Avoid the Risks of the Summer Sun

A perfect #summer shouldn’t have any mishaps, but the hottest and most active season of the year isn’t without its risks. Check the UV index and slather on the sunscreen before you go out in the sun, says MedStar Health. Light-colored, lightweight clothing can offer additional protection from the damaging rays, as will a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Drink plenty of water and other fluids and keep a first aid kit at the ready. Be alert to signs of heat exhaustion such as muscle cramps, dizziness and nausea; be vigilant about water safety when visiting the pool or beach; and never, ever leave children and pets unattended in a vehicle. #PerfectSummer

Lifestyle Choices That Can Help Beat the Heat

To keep the home and yourself #cooler, a few easy options can get you started. First, don’t run appliances including the dishwasher, clothes dryer or oven during a heat wave, says Real Simple; all produce heat and can make your space warmer. Next, keep direct sunlight out with blinds and sheer drapes; you’ll also want to dress in something breezy and maybe go barefoot. Keep a spray bottle of water in the refrigerator for a quick, refreshing spritz (add essential oils if you wish) and opt for chilled fruits and vegetables over hot foods. Make an exception for spicy dishes, which can actually help cool the body down by encouraging the body to #cool itself through #perspiration. #BeatTheHeat

Escape to Climate-Controlled Comfort

If you don’t have air conditioning or it suddenly goes on the fritz during a #heat wave, find a public space that does. Malls, stores, public libraries and cinemas are excellent places to spend a couple of hours in climate-controlled comfort. While fans and evaporative coolers offer some slight comfort by augmenting your body’s natural cooling mechanisms, they lose effectiveness at temperatures above 90 and in high humidity. That’s when youl need to find a cooling center, take a cool shower or resort to measures such as freezing your bed linens. Or you can create your own makeshift A/C unit using a cooler, ice, fan and a few simple tools. #BeatTheHeat

Keeping Pets Safe in Extreme Heat

Extreme #heat is especially dangerous for our animal companions, says the New York Times. Walk dogs early in the morning or after sunset when temperatures are cooler, avoid strenuous activity and seek shade. Carry water and a collapsible dish to keep your pet hydrated. If your dog slows down, let them take a break — and if he or she shows signs of #overheating such as excessive panting, lethargy or a deep-red tongue, get them to a cool water bath fast. If signs of distress persist, go to a veterinarian immediately. And never leave your pet unattended inside a closed car; a car’s cabin temperature can rise to dangerous levels even when the outside air is temperate. #BeatTheHeat

Hydrate to Stay Cool in a Heat Wave

With record-setting temperatures in the Pacific Northwest set to spread throughout the Great Plains this week, it’s time to revisit a few tested strategies to beat the heat. First, keep yourself (and your pets) hydrated, FEMA says. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water and other noncaffeinated soft drinks, regardless of your activity level — chug like your life depends on it. It might: Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can come on suddenly when the thermometer spikes, and they can have dangerous and debilitating effects. Take immediate action to cool off if you experience symptoms such as cramps, rapid pulse or dizziness. #BeatTheHeat