It comes as no surprise to anyone that it is HOT in Nebraska and Iowa during the summer. Highs in the 90s and even triple digits are common and seem to last for days on end (sometimes they really do last for days on end). These temperatures can be dangerous and life-threatening though, so today we recognize as Nebraska Heat Awareness Day. (The Internet tells me Iowa's Heat Awareness Day was back on June 3rd, but if you missed that like I did, we can celebrate it today, too!)
Heat is often underestimated, especially in areas like ours where we are used to seeing temperatures reach the 90s and 100s, but it is important to keep yourself safe when it gets so hot outside. Extreme heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States. Between 1990 to 2019, excessive heat is responsible for an average of 138 deaths each year.
As we often remind everyone, it is NEVER safe to leave a child (or anyone, really) or pet in a locked car. On a hot afternoon, temperatures inside the vehicle rise quickly and death can occur in less than 10 minutes in some cases. If you have a child or pet in the car with you, it is recommended to set your purse or phone in the back seat or something else important you need to take inside with you to make sure you do not accidentally forget the precious cargo in your backseat.
A few holidays happen during the warmer months of the year, and you might want to enjoy an adult beverage or two or three, but it is important to remember that when it is so hot, drinking alcohol and even caffeinated beverages will dehydrate you. Make sure you drink plenty of water, too.
You can also make sure to wear loose fitting, light-colored clothing to help reflect heat and sunlight. It is also important to limit your time outside in direct sunlight. If you are working outside, take breaks inside or at least in the shade.
Always watch for signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke when out with family or friends on hot days.
Some Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion:
-Faint or dizzy
-Cool, pale, clammy skin
-Nausea or vomiting
Some Symptoms of Heat Stroke:
-Red, hot, dry skin
-Nausea or vomiting