Can Heat Kill Us? Here’s How to Protect Yourself during Heat Wave?
Yes, the heat can kill us. It already does, and it’s possible that more people will die from it as time goes on.
Several new reports say that the summer 2022 will be one of the hottest on record, but it may also be the coolest for the rest of our lives. This is because climate change has made the temperature do all kinds of crazy things. This means that the temperature will rise with each season, and we may reach a point where it will be almost impossible to leave the house during the hottest hours.
“When people are exposed to extreme heat, they can get life-threatening illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” says the US Environmental Protection Agency. Heart attacks, strokes, and other forms of cardiovascular disease can also lead to death when the weather is hot.
The agency says that extreme heat is becoming more and more common around the world, which makes both people and animals more likely to get sick (some veterinarians have shared images of dogs and cats that suffered burns in legs on the pavement).
When does it get too hot?
The New Hampshire Bulletin did a study on this topic. They put healthy people through heat tests to find out what temperature would make us have to change our routines or stay inside, which would affect our daily activities.
The study found that heat and humidity together are very dangerous for people because they can make it hard for the body to cool itself.
“Our studies of healthy young men and women show that this upper environmental limit is even less than the theoretical 35 C. It’s more like a temperature of 31 C for a wet bulb (88 F). That would be the same as 31 C at 100% humidity or 100 F at 60% humidity, according to the Bulletin.
This means that we are already having temperatures that are dangerous, and if we don’t do something right away, things will only get worse.
And dry weather doesn’t help much, either, because experts say people can only sweat so much (which is what helps cool you down as sweat evaporates). Also, things like getting older and being overweight can make things worse.
What can happen if you do too much?
Healthline says that extreme heat can make you more likely to have a heart attack, get dehydrated, or have a heat stroke. It can also affect the way your organs, including your brain, work. It can also make your asthma or other lung problems worse.
The elderly, children, and people with heart problems are most likely to get it, but anyone can get it.
How can you keep yourself safe?
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a list of things you should do to protect yourself from the heat or deal with it better if you are having trouble.
- You should stay hydrated by drinking enough water, even more than 2 liters if the heat is very high.
- During the hottest hours, it’s best to stay inside or in places with air conditioning.
- Try to limit the time you spend outside, especially exercising (preferably train before sunrise or at night).
- Avoid clothes that are dark or tight.
- Use cool or cool water to take a bath.
- Never, ever, ever leave kids or pets in a car with the door closed.
- Use a good sunscreen that works well.
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