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Enjoy summer but be careful of soaring temps

Heat-related illnesses are no joke

With the Fourth of July here this week, many of us will be celebrating Independence Day despite the scorching heatwave that has descended upon us the past few weeks. Here’s hoping we’ll get cooler days for the patriotic holiday as the summer of 2024 is shaping up to be a hot one. 

For many of us who spend our days in air conditioning, and especially older members of the community, we need to be conscious of the potential risks of heatstroke. The combination of outdoor activities, and hotter-than-normal temperatures can create a perfect storm for heat-related illnesses. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 702 people die from heat-related causes in the United States each year. 

At the same time, we would encourage everyone to continue/begin/don’t give up on regular exercise. Go early or late but get outside some for a walk. This may be a long hot summer and binge watching television until the heat breaks is also bad for your health.

Here are a few tips to consider whether celebrating the Fourth on the lake or out for that evening stroll. 


First and foremost, stay hydrated. Whether you’re attending the Jasper Lions Club sponsored parade on Thursday at 10 a.m., heading down to Lee Newton Park to hear the musicians perform, or hitting a carnival ride or two that afternoon, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.  

While many folks wouldn’t imagine the holiday without a beer or two, excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages – and sugary drinks – can seriously dehydrate us. So, if you plan to imbibe make sure and drink lots of water to go along with any alcohol or soft drinks. 

Encourage young children and the elderly to drink plenty of water too. 

Take breaks from the sun

It’s also important to seek shade and take frequent breaks from direct sunlight to cool down periodically. Wearing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing and a wide-brimmed hat can also provide added protection from the sun. 

Take walks in shady areas, like the duck pond park in Jasper, and start slowly  and being aware that heat conditions can come up suddenly.

Be mindful of the signs of heat exhaustion, such as heavy sweating, weakness, and nausea. And don’t hesitate to seek medical attention if you or someone else exhibits symptoms of heat-related distress. 

Protect that skin

As any dermatologist would point out, wear sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. 

A tan may look good but word is out that it’s not healthy to be bronze any more.

As we enjoy the heart of summer, let’s make sure we and our loved ones stay safe and look out for heat-related conditions. It’s no joke.

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