Today promises to be another wicked hot and humid day with temperatures in the 90s.
In spite of her protests, at my insistence, my brother carried my mother’s air conditioner upstairs and installed it in the family room yesterday. We just felt that 90 degrees and nasty humidity inside the house was not healthy for our 80-something year old mom, her dog or any of us.
Dr. Oz has these 5 tips to beat the heat posted on his website.
1. Stay Well Hydrated – Drink plenty of fluids; if you are sweating a lot, consider sports drinks to replace the salts and minerals.
2. Cover Up in the Sun – Use sunscreen and wear loose, light-colored clothing as well as a brimmed hat.
3. Limit Activity During the Hottest Part of the Day – Try not to be participating in outdoor activity during midday, which is the hottest part of the day. Pace yourself if you are exercising in the heat; you should not allow your heart rate to be pounding nor should you allow yourself to feel completely out of breath and gasping for air.
4. If Indoors, Keep Your House Ventilated – If you are indoors and have no air-conditioning, open windows and use fans to circulate the air.
5. Don’t Delay Getting Help for Symptoms – If you find yourself or someone else might be suffering from heat-related illness, move to a cooler shady place, lie down, drink some fluids, and call 911.
Where can you go?
If you don’t have air conditioning and you are sweating and miserable, consider a trip to the library, it is air conditioned and there are comfortable seats in several areas, computer work stations, private desk areas and plenty of books, newspapers and magazines to keep you occupied.
The Orange Ale House has wonderful lunch offerings and non-alcoholic beverages for its customers. The business is open around 3:30 p.m. and comfortable and COOL.
NuVita Frozen Yogurt has free Wifi, the best froyo around and cool drinks and is well worth the visit.
Restaurants and stores also provide air conditioned comfort.
When we have a heat wave, the town most likely also will open High Plains Community Center as a cooling center like it did last year, but wait for an announcement before you trek over there looking for a place to relax.
But, what about my dog?
Dog lovers who have a special bond with their buddies may bring them to a park with a pond for a swim or a stroll in the woods, but what happens when they get back into the car?
According to the ASPCA, three years ago, “a Bronx, NY, man left his Maltese in his van—with the windows cracked—while he went for a swim at a state park. The temperature inside the van climbed to 140 degrees and despite intervention by park police, the dog didn’t survive.”
We see dogs in cars in parking lots at local pharmacies and strip malls here in Orange and wonder, what should I do? One of the first things the police dispatcher may ask is, “how long has he been alone?” If you just came upon the car and noticed the animal inside, you can’t answer that question.
Then, the dispatcher may ask, “is the dog in distress?” — to you, a common concerned citizen who would never bring your dog out on a hot day, the answer would be, “yes.”
Even on a relatively mild 85-degree day, it takes only 10 minutes for the interior of a car to reach 102 degrees—and within 30 minutes, the inside of the car can be a staggering 120 degrees. Leaving windows open a few inches does not help. Cars with darker interiors tend to heat up even faster.
According to information from the ASPCA, when it comes to the body’s ability to cool itself, canine physiology is vastly different from ours. While humans have sweat glands all over our bodies that help regulate our body heat, dogs cool down mostly by panting, which is much less efficient than sweating.
In only a short amount of time, a dog with a high body temperature can suffer critical damage to his nervous system, heart, liver and brain.
If you’re out and about on a hot day and see an animal alone in a car, you should immediately try to find the car’s owner (have nearby stores page the owner of the vehicle noting the license plate number) If you have no luck, or if the owner refuses to act, contact the Orange Police Department at 203-891-1080 and/or the Milford-Orange Animal Control at 203-783-3279.