Tips for staying cool in stifling heat

The story that is affecting upper Michigan as a whole today is the continued heat.

Added to the heat from yesterday is humidity.

The two can create a dangerous combination for people and pets.

Being aware and anticipating high temperatures is the key to fighting off the heat.

Staying cool and drinking lots of fluids are the most important factors during these times.

Children and the elderly require an extra level of caution.

Pets also require attention on hot days.

“With the elderly, oftentimes they’re on medication that can affect their fluid balance, and diuretics are the chief of those,” Bell Hospital family practitioner Dr. Wayne Carlson said. “Certainly, any infectious disease — diarrhea, vomiting — that accompanies heat exposure could make the dehydration issue worse.”

“We kind of tend to forget, because we get super-excited about the hot weather, that our pets need different care than we do,” U.P. Animal Welfare Shelter manager Lareina VanStrein said. “So, we need to make sure that they stay healthy in this heat, safe and healthy, so providing lots of water, lots of cool water, is super-super-important, access to shade at all times, just anything that would keep them and their body temperature cool.”

Bell Hospital officials say any unexplained symptoms in newborns and younger children could be heat-related and should be discussed with your doctor.

If you have air conditioning, stay inside as much as possible.

If you don’t, keep a fan on and keep windows open during the cooler morning hours and then close the windows and drapes when the temperature rises.