Living In The South – Tips For Surviving The Killer Summers

By on January 22, 2013

The Southern United States are known for a lot of things. There are distinct southern values, southern cooking, and southern summers. The South has long, dry, hot summers, and if you’re not a native, they can be very hard to get used to and tolerate. Many Northerners from warmer climates don’t know how Southerners can stand it. Southerners, however, are well-versed in the best ways to make it through the heat as comfortably and safely as possible. Here are some tips.

Stay Inside – in the Air Conditioning
It’s simple, and it’s essential: Stay inside. When it’s incredibly hot outside, it’s dangerous. You can get heat stroke or a bad sunburn, and it’s certainly miserable just to experience weather that hot. You don’t just need to stay inside, but you need to stay where there’s air conditioning. Air conditioning is an absolute must when living in the South. If you don’t have one, or it doesn’t work very well, get one installed or fixed as soon as possible.

Go Out at Dawn and Dusk
If you do have to go out – and surely you will – try to avoid going out in the middle of the day, when the sun is the strongest. The best times to go out are early in the morning, like at dawn, and later at night, like after dusk. In the South, that’s when most people tend to do their errands during the summer. The earlier or the later, the better.

Know the Signs of Heat Stroke
Anyone can experience heat stroke, and it’s important to know the signs. It’s especially important if you have older people or children living with you. A person with heat stroke may feel dizzy and nauseous. They may not be sweating, and their temperature will be above 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Their skin will be hot to the touch and their pulse rapid. Get the person out of the sun, out of clothes, drinking salt water, and apply cool, wet cloths to the skin, and call a doctor.

Protect Against Sunburn
The hot summers can not only bring on heat stroke, they can also cause severe sunburns. Severe sunburns are very dangerous, too, and it will be much easier for your skin to burn in the South than elsewhere. Whenever you go outside, always wear SPF 30-45 sunblock, and wear protective clothing, like a hat and sunglasses. Reapply sunscreen often, and don’t stay in the sun long at all. It’s especially important to keep sunburn covered if you’ll be in the sun again.

Stay Hydrated
Dehydration is common in the summer, so make sure you stay hydrated. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day, and it is best if you drink 10-12, because in the summer your body requires more water. Bring a water bottle with you when you’re out, and remind others around you to drink water throughout the day. It’s important even indoors and when not being active.

Susan Wright is a vet and a freelance writer. Susan often shares summer pet care tips that gets the whole family involved in caring for the family pet.

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