Summer Heat

It’s Summer! How to Beat Florida’s Heat

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Florida’s warm subtropical climate can create gorgeous beach days and bring wonderful sea breezes – something we all love about our great state.  However, in the hot summer months, our climate can create extreme heat and high humidity, which can decrease the body’s ability to dissipate heat and maintain a normal temperature. This can lead to severe dehydration and other heat-related illnesses for people and pets. If left unattended, these can escalate rapidly, leading to delirium, organ damage and even death.

To minimize health risks during heat waves, VYRD has some great recommendations:

  1. Follow FEMA’s Advice to Prepare Your Home NOW for Hot Weather Season.
    • Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
    • Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
    • Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
    • Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
    • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)
    • Keep storm windows up all year.
  2. Check Vehicle Fluids to Avoid Breakdowns Caused by Extreme Heat
    • Experts at AAA warn that extreme heat can take its toll of vehicle components, and they recommend checking the engine coolant and other fluids as well as tire pressure often throughout the hot season.  This will help reduce your chances of being stranded on the road during hot weather.
  3. Prevent Hot Car Deaths
    • Tragically, babies who might be left inside sweltering cars by accident can die from heatstroke fatality. According to, 53% of these child fatalities were the result of busy parents simply forgetting their sleeping child was in the car. Avoid this heartbreakingly sad catastrophe by always doing the following all year long:
      • Check your entire vehicle — front and back — before locking the door and walking away. Always ask yourself, “Where’s Baby?”
      • Ask your childcare provider to call immediately if your child doesn’t show up when expected.
      • Always place your purse, briefcase or other personal item in the back seat next to your baby so you are forced to check the back before leaving the car.
      • Write a note or place a stuffed animal in the passenger’s seat to remind you that a child is in the back seat.
  4. Keep Pets Safe in the Heat
    • The Humane Society of the United States reminds us to never leave pets in a parked car – ever. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die.
  5. Keep Yourself Safe During Extreme Heat
    • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water – even if you are not thirsty.
    • Dress in lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
    • Always wear a hat (or carry an umbrella) to block the sun’s harmful rays and make you feel cooler.
    • Avoid vigorous activity during the midday heat (between noon and 4:00 p.m.) when the sun is the hottest. Instead, plan to go out to a movie, go shopping indoors, or simply enjoy a long nap.
    • To keep cool, use a spray bottle to mist your face and carry a small personal fan, an umbrella hat, or a thermal-cool neck wrap.
    • If the temperature goes above 90 degrees, go somewhere air conditioned (your home, school, mall, library, shelter, or other area).
    • Avoid eating heavy foods and meals – and stick with fruits, salads, or soups instead.
    • Take tepid baths and showers to help conduct heat away from the body (or bring your kids to a water park or splash fountain!)

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