Surviving Summer Scorchers
Can't take the heat? Many people can't, and too often they end up in the hospital.
Cramps, Exhaustion, Bad Mood continued...
Oppressive heat hurts more than the body. If you have to spend
a lot of time in the heat, you're likely to get crabby. "It does affect the
emotions," says Arthur Bachrach, a psychologist and spokesman for the
American Psychological Association.
Road rage is one example of how heat may affect your psyche --
which is no surprise if you've ever crept along in freeway traffic on a
sweltering day. "Road rage is at least in part a function of heat
stress," Bachrach says.
Heat also makes you feel apathetic and dulls your
concentration, which can hurt your work performance and lead to accidents. The
National Occupational Safety and Health Administration (NOSHA) takes heat
seriously. Of course, tarring a roof in August is nastier business than it is
in April, but many Americans work in hot environments year-round -- in
laundries, mines, foundries, and steam tunnels, to name a few.
NOSHA recommends that workers gradually expose themselves to
heat, so they can acclimate. They should also have a cool place to rest --
where the temperature is about 76 degrees -- and drink five to seven ounces of
water every 15-20 minutes, or two to three gallons a day.
The same precautions against heat sickness apply at home and
about town. Drink a lot of water, wear lightweight clothing, and never, ever
leave a child locked in a car.
Stay in the shade when you can, and use air conditioning
whenever possible. If you don't have air-conditioning in your home or car, go
someplace that does before you overheat: Catch a movie, stroll around the mall,
or linger a while over the ice-cream selection in a grocery freezer. You don't
want to take a trip to the ER just because you thought you could take the