What is your favorite way to beat the heat?
It's a relevant question as the forecast calls for temperatures to come dangerously close to three digits. (The heat index is forecast to be well into triple digits: 104-107.)
For some people, beating the heat means swimming, playing in a sprinkler or enjoying a cool drink in a hammock in the backyard. For many people, it's simply staying inside with the air conditioning on.
Unfortunately, not everyone has access to air conditioning in their homes. And some of the previous options to keep cool — movie theaters, libraries, etc. — aren't open in parts of the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In Jefferson City, our multiplex movie theater remains closed (with plans to open under new ownership), but our library is back open to the public.
The Salvation Army is typically another organization that offers respite from the heat.
Experts also advise following these tips during severe heat:
Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
Don't leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
Eat light, well-balanced meals at regular intervals.
Drink plenty of water and limit alcoholic drinks.
Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
Protect your face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat. Wear sunscreen 30 SPF or greater.
Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day; use the buddy system when working in extreme heat and take frequent breaks.
Be aware of medications that may impair the body's response to heat, including antihistamines, tranquilizers and some medications for heart disease.
When it gets this hot, beating the heat isn't always easy. But if we watch out for each other and follow these common-sense tips, we'll make it through these dog days of summer.