Be wary on hot and humid summer days

7/31/2013

Many people love the warm summer months, but hot and humid days can sometimes be dangerous. It's not good for the body to be too hot for too long. Too much heat can damage your brain and other organs. It's important to keep your cool when the days are hot. Your body has its own natural cooling system. Sweating is key to cooling when hot weather or exercise causes your body temperature to climb. When sweat dries, it carries heat away from your body's surface and lowers your temperature. When sweating isn't enough to help you cool down, you're at risk for a heat-related illness called hyperthermia.

Many people love the warm summer months, but hot and humid days can sometimes be dangerous. It's not good for the body to be too hot for too long. Too much heat can damage your brain and other organs. It's important to keep your cool when the days are hot. Your body has its own natural cooling system. Sweating is key to cooling when hot weather or exercise causes your body temperature to climb. When sweat dries, it carries heat away from your body's surface and lowers your temperature. When sweating isn't enough to help you cool down, you're at risk for a heat-related illness called hyperthermia.

Hyperthermia can happen to anyone. Older people, infants and young children, and people who are ill, obese or on certain medications are especially at risk. These people may be more sensitive to the effects of extreme heat and less likely to sense or respond to changes in temperature. "High temperatures can cause various organs within the body not to function optimally," said Dr. Marie Bernard, deputy director of NIH's National Institute on Aging. Excess body heat can stress the heart and harm the brain. It might even lead to a coma. Hyperthermia can cause several heat-related illnesses, ranging from mild to serious. These include heat cramps, heat edema, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat cramps are the painful tightening of muscles in your stomach, arms or legs. If you have heat cramps, find a way to cool your body and be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Heat edema is a swelling in your ankles and feet when you get hot. Elevating your legs should help. If that doesn't work fairly quickly, check with a health professional.

Heat exhaustion is a warning that your body can no longer keep itself cool. You might feel dizzy, thirsty, weak, uncoordinated and nauseated. Your skin might feel cold and clammy, and you may have a rapid pulse. If this happens, drink plenty of fluids and rest in a cool place. If you're not careful, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke.

Heat stroke is a life-threatening form of hyperthermia that occurs when your body temperature reaches 104 degrees F or more. Heat stroke can lead to confusion, fainting, staggering, strange behavior or dry, flushed skin. Heat stroke is a medical emergency.¬ 

Heat-related illness is preventable. Still, hundreds of deaths from extreme heat events occur in the United States each year. It's important to be aware of who's at greatest risk so you can take steps to help beat the heat.¬ 

Keeping cool:

* Get out of the sun and into a cool place.

* Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Avoid drinks that contain alcohol.¬ 

* Limit use of the oven if you don't have air conditioning.

* Dress for the weather. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

* Shower, bathe or sponge off with cool water.

* Cover windows with shades, blinds or curtains during the hottest part of the day.

Air conditioning is the best way to protect against hyperthermia. If you don't have air conditioning, go to places that are cool on hot and humid days. Try community centers, shopping malls, movie theaters, libraries, or the homes of friends and family. The senior center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday where you can relax in air-conditioned comfort. Join us.

New computers

The senior center recently purchased six new computers for our Computer Lab thanks to funds from the Western Kansas Community Foundation. We are looking for a volunteer to teach introductory computer classes on computer basics, email, Internet and other social media. If you are interested in teaching a couple of classes each week, call Barbara at 272-3620.

Thanks for help

Many thanks to the volunteers from the Garden City Board of Realtors and Duane Riley who delivered Meals on Wheels last week.¬ Are you interested in helping with Meals on Wheels?¬ Substitute drivers are always needed.¬ If you would like to help, call Patti at 272-3620 or 260-6282.

Scheduled activities

Thursday, the TOPS Club will meet at 9 a.m., followed by art class at 10 a.m.¬ Gentle exercises start at 11 a.m.¬ The Ambassador Singers practice at 1 pm.¬ Skip-Bo begins at 1 p.m.¬ Yoga begins at 6:30 p.m.¬ 

Friday, the day begins with line dancing at 8:30 a.m.¬ A nurse from St. Catherine Hospital will be here from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.¬ Bridge starts at 12:45 p.m.¬ The Association covered dish dinner starts at 6 p.m.

Saturday, the pool room is open from 1 to 4 p.m.¬ 

Monday has double pinochle at 12:30 p.m.¬ Duplicate bridge starts at 7 p.m.¬ 

Tuesday has walking at 8:30 a.m.¬ Gentle exercises begin at 11 a.m.¬ Pitch starts at 12:30 p.m. Bridge begins at 1:15 p.m.¬ 

Aug. 7 has line dancing at 8:30 a.m. TOPS 1116 meets at 10 a.m.¬ Pinochle begins at 12:40 p.m.¬ The regular Wednesday night dance featuring the Moonshiners begins at 7:30 p.m.¬ The recommended donation is $5.¬ 

¬  ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ 

Lunch menus

Lunch is served at noon.

Thursday:¬ Chef salad, bread sticks, strawberries and pears.

Friday:¬ Beef and macaroni, marinated tomatoes, wheat roll, blueberry crisp.

Monday:¬ Smothered steak, scalloped potatoes, cauliflower and peas, cinnamon apple slices, wheat roll.

Tuesday:¬ Roast turkey, potatoes and gravy, beets with orange sauce, fruit gelatin salad, wheat roll.¬ ¬ ¬ 

Aug. 7:¬ Chicken pot pie, Capri vegetables, mandarin oranges, wheat bread.¬ 

Celebrating 35 years at the Senior Center of Finney County. Check out our website at www.seniorcenterfc.com.

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