Summertime, and the coolin’ is easy.
Keeping Brooklyn Healthy

Summertime, and the coolin’ is easy.

Heat emergencies are of three types: heat cramps (caused by loss of salt), heat exhaustion (caused by dehydration) and heat stroke (shock).Heat emergencies are of three types: heat cramps (caused by loss of salt), heat exhaustion (caused by dehydration) and heat stroke (shock).Last year's summer was the warmest on record for New York City, and this July's heat wave turned out to be the City’s longest stretch of heat in more than a decade, with evening temperatures failing to dip below 80.

There are certainly more heat waves to come, which means the potential for medical emergencies. The last 12 years were among the 13 warmest on record worldwide.

So how can you beat the inevitable heat, avoid heat exhaustion, and maybe even save money and natural resources? Here are some easy, free or low-cost tips:

  • Set your thermostat to 78. Go higher if the humidity is low
  • Wear short-sleeved, loose clothing both outdoors and indoors.
  • Avoid dehydration. Drink lots of water or other cold drinks without alcohol or caffeine.
  • Run cold water over pulse points. Cold water should be run over your wrist for a minute or so. Even splashing water on your temples may produce the same cooling effect.
  • Draw your drapes to keep heat from getting inside in the first place.
  • Turn off unnecessary heat-producing devices like incandescent lights or electronic devices when not in use.
  • Use the microwave. Conventional cooking dumps heat in the house, but microwaves cook the food directly.
  • Run your air conditioner fan on low to help dehumidify your home.
  • Install ceiling fans. Fans move body heat away from you and provide evaporative cooling as you sweat.
  • Replace your air-conditioning filters and clean filters in window units every month.
  • Shade your air conditioner. If your A/C is in full sun, it's working harder than it needs to. Don't obstruct the air flow.
  • Check your weather stripping and caulk leaky door frames.
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