Survival, Prepping, & Homesteading Experts

The Dangers Of Summer Heat

Summertime can be fun, but the heat…not so much. There are some dangers you need to watch out for when it comes to summer heat…

the dangers of summer heat

Some of you just love summer, but i don’t…not one bit. It gets so hot and muggy outside. It’s like torture to me to get outside to do anything. It’s easier to get warm in the winter than cooling off in the summer, if you ask me.

Also, I have very personal reasons for hating summer. Read on and you’ll see why…

Southern summers usually get pretty darn hot, with high humidity levels and temps usually running between 90-100 degrees most days.

I think most people know some of the basic heat dangers, but may not think or be prepared for others.

And from a prepper’s point of view, I’m going to go ahead and say…. store water, water and more water or have some source of water and a filtration system for when the SHTF, especially if you live in a generally hot area during the summer. You will need it, especially if the power grid is down.

So what are these dangers you say, well, read on!

The Dangers Of Heat Illnesses

There are some heat related illnesses that you should keep in mind.

Heat Exhaustion – This is most common when you are activity doing something whether it is exercising in the hot weather or have a job that is outdoors. It is when you excessively sweat causing salt and water depletion. Blood flow is directed to the skin, reducing circulation in the vital organs which may lead to a mild form of shock.

Symptoms include excessive sweating, extreme exhaustion and weakness, cool clammy skin, dizziness, vomiting and fainting.

If you do get heat exhaustion, you have to cool down and drink plenty of water. Move to an area where it is shaded and apply wet towels or cool compresses to slowly bring down your temperature. And then drink more water. And if available, get checked out by a physician to check your electrolyte levels.

Heat Stroke – This is most serious of all the heat illnesses. Once the body has lost all control of its internal temperatures these systems simply shut down. This leads to a rapid rise in temperature that can cause brain damage and even death. This condition requires immediate medical attention.

Symptoms of heat stroke include confusion, rapid fast heartbeat and rapid breathing, severe headache, red flushed skin, seizures and unconsciousness.

If you suspect heat stroke, call 911 and get yourself or the sick person to a cool place. Apply water to clothes, cold compresses to cool them down, ice them down. Anything you can do to get their temperature to go down.

Dehydration – This occurs due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures, direct sun, and high humidity, without sufficient rest and fluids.

It is the second worse illness, next to the heat stroke.

Symptoms of dehydration include fatigue, dry lips and tongue, lack of energy, thirst, and feeling hot. If left untreated it can cause other worse symptoms such as kidney problems.

Sometimes it doesn’t even happen when you get hot. My son at the age of 3, developed a severe bout of a stomach virus and he got dehydrated within 24 hours of it starting, and was hospitalized because he was dehydrated and his kidneys had started shutting down. So it’s a very serious thing.

The best treatment and prevention of dehydration is drink plenty of non carbonated liquids. Liquids with electrolytes are even better. Heck, for kids even a popsicle is good… whatever works to keep plenty of liquids in your body. Also avoiding getting overheated. And when you have to, try to wear loose. Lightweight clothes than are light in color. Black and dark colors attract more sunlight.

Sunburn – This occurs when you get too much sunlight. I know most of you know that. But this one has personal reasons for me. See, I used to be a landscaper here in Alabama. I would get sunburnt all the time. I tried to wear loose clothing and stay in as much of a shade as I could but I had to work and had to do my job. After years of doing this, I stopped working there.

Well fast forward about 9 years later when at the age of 28, I was diagnosed with melanoma. I had to get it cut out of my head from my eye socket all the way up my forehead. My skin was stretched to cover the large chunk of tissue they had to cut out. If it was just a few millimeters deeper, it would have gotten into my bloodstream and would have been a lot worse, a whole lot worse.

So please when you go outside, please wear sunblock and a sun hat and try to stay out of direct sunlight. Now days, I have to get regular checkups to make sure the cancer isn’t back and am supposed to limit my sunlight as much as possible.

Sunburn may seem like nothing to most, but it could cause a big deal in the future.

Water Burns – This happens mainly to kids. They go out to use the hose to run through the sprinkler but don’t realize the water that is left in the hose can cause some serious burns. The sun will warm up the water upwards of 160F in no time.

The best way to avoid this is to simply run the water for a while and let the leftover, now hot water out. Simple as that.

I know you probably already knew that but I just wanted to remind you.

Hot Cars – Leaving children and pets in a hot car can kill them in a short amount of time, even with the windows down. If you have to run to the store, don’t bring your pet on these hot days.

Every year about 40 kids die in hot cars. Before you leave home with your child it’s worth taking just a moment and do something to remind you that your child is in the backseat. Putting one of their toys on the passenger side beside you works well.

Also, when you are at home, keep your doors locked and keys put up. Kids will get in cars while playing hide and seek and will get too hot. Better safe than sorry.

Lastly, always check seat belts and car seats before putting them on or around your child. The heat from the metal on the seats will cause sometimes severe burns.

Final Thoughts

As long as you keep these dangers in mind when heading out into the heat, summer can be very fun, with swimming and picnics and all.

Be sure to wear sunblock and sun protection when outdoors.

And keep a watch for metals on swing sets, car seats, outdoor chairs that could be extremely hot from the sun.

Keep doors locked when your vehicle is not in use to prevent children from getting into hot cars. And keep something near or a reminder to remember that you have your child with you to avoid forgetting he/she is with you and leaving them.

And keep pets at home if you are going to have to leave them alone in a car for any period of time. Even with the windows down, they could still get too hot.

And most importantly, stay as cool as possible when outside for extended periods of time….in the shade if possible. And stay hydrated. Drink water, water, some more water, and a little more water.

But most of all, have fun.



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Jim Mcgill

1 Comment

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  1. Jim McGill, good article. I work in such a heat-scorched environment daily. One point I harp on all the time to people, especially the snowbirds and newly transplanted residents, down where I live – west coast south of Tampa, Florida – is to observe the yard crews who work out in this heat and humidity daily. None – repeat, none!! – wear shorts or t-shirts. All wear long-sleeved shirts, full pants, hats and often scarfs or bandanas around their necks and/or lower face. Why? Sweat is good. Perspiration happens for a reason. To cool you off and keep you wet. Nothing will sap the ability to work outside in this swamp like losing all your water almost immediately upon breaking a sweat like having all that water inside you just boil off into the air. You have to adjust your mindset to being soaked. To not dress according to the heat is to literally become unable to function; or worse, to die.

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