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Outdoor Safety During a Heat Wave

Planning outdoor activities this summer? If so, you should be prepared for the hot weather. Heat waves seem to find us. Take precautions to keep you and your loved ones safe.

If you plan on heading out to one of the big lakes for boating, make sure you have plenty of sunscreen, proper clothing, first aid kit, cell phone, marine radio, and life preservers.

As hot as it can be outside, it might be tempting to go without wearing a life preserver. According to the Coast Guard, it is recommended that “boaters wear a life jacket at all times.” When the temperatures are in the high 90s and the heat index is pushing over 100, it is hard to think about putting on another layer, but think safety first.

The Coast Guard suggests boaters “know the weather conditions and dress for the water temperatures rather than the air temperatures.” They also tell boaters to bring along a marine band radio just in case of an emergency. You never know when you may need help.

Now maybe being on the water isn’t your thing and you would rather hang out along the shoreline or do other activities outside. Remember to use common sense and don’t be out in the high heats for too long.

Find yourself some shade, even though you may love the sun and drink plenty of water. According to Dr. Paul Green from Luther Midelfort in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, “don’t wait for thirst; keep ahead of that by keeping hydrated.”

The Humane Society warns, “heat and humidity can be deadly for pets.” Don’t be misled into thinking that animals know how to keep themselves cool. Never leave your pet in a parked car. Temperatures can rise quicker than you think and put your dog in danger.

One may suffer from heat stroke without even knowing it. Be aware of the signs: a rise in body temperature, rapid heartbeat, rapid or shallow breathing, irritability or confusion, dizziness or lightheadedness and/or headache or nausea.

Whether you are enjoying a day on the water or simply enjoying outdoor activities, remember to pace yourself physically, especially during a heat wave. Drink plenty of water and use common sense when outside in the high temperatures.

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