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Summer time in Oklahoma….Ouch!

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Summer time in Oklahoma….Ouch!
Summer time in Oklahoma….Ouch!

Ugh!  It’s freaking HOT out here!  I know!  I’ll mow the lawn, edge the driveway, and weed the garden.  Right in the middle of the day.  What could go wrong?

Wait.  What?!  Really?!  This is something I have actually heard in my own house.  You think he’d remember how stupid that is from the last time he did it…..but no.  Let’s break down the many ways this is a bad idea.

First, there is more to heat in Oklahoma than just temperature.  We have the heat index.  I know you’ve heard about it on the news, but what does it mean?  The heat index is what your body actually feels when outside in the direct sun.  It means the air temperature PLUS the humidity PLUS the direct sunlight.  The air may only be 90 degrees but your body could feel like it’s 110.  So we really don’t care so much about what the temperature is outside as much as we care about what it FEELS like the temperature is to our bodies.  And when is it the hottest?  Middle of the day, between around 1 and 3 o’clock.  Those are the scorching hours.  So, strike 1 against this brilliant outdoors man.

I can’t stop right now.  I’m on a roll.  I’ll be done in no time!

Strike 2!  The hotter it is, the more frequently you need to stop!  Being out in that heat saps your energy.  Add the physical work you’re doing and you are really risking heat-related illnesses like HEAT EXHAUSTION and HEAT STROKE.

Who cares?  Those don’t sound so bad.  I’ll be fine.

Yeah, no.  Heat exhaustion is when your body just can’t get rid of the heat inside because the air outside is too hot.  Your internal temperature rises up as high as 104-105.  Just like having a really bad fever.  You get a headache, light headed, muscle cramps, throwing up, even passing out.  And getting that temp back down is tough.  You need to get their outside and INSIDE temperatures down, or else.  Yikes.  Heat stroke worse.  In fact, it’s down right scary.  That’s when your inside temperature is so high that you get dizzy, confused, acting weird, can’t walk right, collapse, and slip into a coma.  True heat stroke can kill you.  This is not to be taken lightly.  Sadly, these are common causes of death for kids and athletes in the summer.  And pets.  Don’t push your kids too hard when it’s too hot.  And bring in your pets.  So take a break regularly and DRINK!  Ice cold fluids, especially sports drinks with electrolytes.  You know the ones….  Drink, drink, drink, drink, drink!

It’s cloudy today.  I don’t need sunscreen. *grumble*  Fine.  I’ll put some on.  

Strike 3!  We’ve all gotten a nasty sunburn at least once in our lives.  Usually it’s those bright, sunny days.  We forget our sunscreen, or some people won’t wear it at all (I’m looking at you, Steve).  Or, like this brilliant worker, we apply it at the beginning of the day but never reapply it.  Did you know you sweat?  Especially when you’re working hard or you’ve been out a long time.  Guess what.  That sunscreen eventually washes off, or gets wiped off when you wipe away the sweat.  Sooooo, you need to put more on every 2 hours or so.  Ugh.  But what about those clouds?  They help, right?  Wrong again!  I truly hate physics with my whole being, but this is physics.  If it is super cloudy, like you wouldn’t want to do much outside anyway, sure, the sun rays are blocked some.  BUT, on days when it’s just a little cloudy, especially those pretty wispy clouds, the UV rays can be more than doubled!  Yeah, twice as dangerous.  Twice as likely to get a nasty sunburn.  So put on your sunscreen!  I am not going into that SPF mess.  Again, I hate physics.

So, strike 3, he’s out.  But he’s probably out, as in outside.  I’ll watch him, keep iced G**** ready, and 911 on speed dial.

If you have any questions about this, or any other health issue, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider.  And of course I’m always here to talk too!