Beat the heat this summer

Forecasters say a heat wave has been moving south into North Carolina bringing with it humidity that will make 90 degree mountainous areas, such as Cullowhee, feel even hotter.

With the heat, and the sun, and the added bonus of humidity, there are many risk factors that come in to play when spending time outside, whether it’s in the pool, hiking, or while grilling.

Many WCU students are attempting to keep cool this summer while working summer jobs. WCU Senior Katherine Crocker, who waitresses at Chattooga Country Club, admits to taking it easy while working outside.

“I drink a lot of water when I work outside,” said Crocker. “When I wait tables outside, I try to take a break if I get too hot. I go sit in the shade.”

When WCU students are not working through their summers, they are probably found at the pool, or sitting inside to avoid the sun.

“I limit my time being out in the sun to about two hours in the afternoon,” said WCU sophomore Brandon Martinez. “I drink water every 15 or 20 minutes and try to go to the pool during the hot times of the day.”

You may never think about heat exhaustion as being an issue. However, many people are at risk of suffering heat injuries in such extremely hot weather, including infants and children younger than four as well as people 65 or older—and those who are excessively overweight, physically ill with conditions such as heart disease or high blood pressure. It is also important for those who are working outdoors and might overdo it during work or exercise to be especially attentive.

With that being said, if you want to beat the heat this summer, here are some tips to keep yourself in good health despite the heat.

• Do not sit or leave children or pets in a parked car

• Drink plenty of fluids, eight glasses a day of water, and avoid alcohol and large amounts of sugar.

• Avoid being outside between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., when temperatures routinely reach their highest

• Wear lightweight (cotton), light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Protect yourself from the sun and keep cool by wearing a wide-brimmed hat along with sunglasses and by

• Use sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going outside.

• Be mindful of signs that you’ve had too much sun or heat exposure.

• Keep a cell phone nearby and avoid the outdoors if you have been sick or are prone to heat exhaustion.