Cooling Yourself Without an Air Conditioner
Most people get through the heat of summer by using an air conditioner in their home or office. However, if you are outdoors, or if there is a power failure, or if you do not have an air conditioner installed, you must look at other ways to cool yourself on a scorching day. Overheating of the body is called hyperthermia (sunstroke), which can have very serious consequences. Every year, many people all over the world die because of the after-effects of hyperthermia. Fortunately, there are several ways in which we can survive the heat of the summer comfortably.
Cooling down Your Surroundings
If you are indoors, minimize the use of the stove, oven, and other heat generating devices. Try to cool down with the use of an electric fan. Though fans are not very effective in extreme heat, they can provide some degree of comfort. If you plan to be outdoors, avoid scheduling your trip in the middle of the day. If you are caught outside in a heat wave, try to find shade immediately. Another clever way to beat the heat is to drive to a mall or other public building and spend a few hours in the air-conditioned comfort. Use thick blinds to block the heat rays from your home.
Cooling Your Body
In extreme heat, wearing wet clothing can be very effective in cooling yourself down. Wear a wet shirt, or use a wet towel to wipe yourself often. Eat cooling foods, and avoid hot foods that will increase your body temperature further. Cucumbers and watermelons are great cooling foods. You can even use a slice of cucumber to cool your face. Consume plenty of cool liquids, and avoid hot beverages. However, you must be mindful of excessive water consumption if you have a medical condition. Completely avoid alcohol, as it contributes to dehydration.
When outdoors, wear a wide hat that will protect your head and body from direct heat. Wear loose clothing, and avoid dark colors that absorb heat. A shower in cold water or using ice packs are another way to beat the summer heat. Wrap ice cubes in a piece of cloth or towel, and place the ice packs at different parts of the body, especially the wrists and other pulse points. The ice-cubes effectively lower body temperature, and all you need to do is refill the ice when it melts completely.
Protecting Yourself and Others
Babies, young children, and seniors are most susceptible to heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses. Make sure they are dressed in loose, light-colored clothing and are wearing sunscreen. Never leave anybody in a parked car in hot weather. If someone in the vicinity feels light-headed due to the heat, make shade available immediately, and make sure the affected person gets ample rest. If you are indoors, go to the basement, which always tends to be cooler than the rest of the house. Surrounding yourself with water is always cooling. Try putting a bucket of ice, or a pail of cold water in front of an electric fan.