HOT HOT HOT!
By Paul Morrone CFP®, CPA/PFS, MSA
There’s hot and then there’s HOT. These past few days have brought the type of heat that is visible as it radiates from the blacktop. I haven’t tested it, but I’d venture to guess that the pavement has been hot enough to cook an egg, maybe even a skirt steak if you have the patience. There’s nothing scientific about my theory, it is solely based upon how many steps I can take barefoot before jumping onto my tip-toes and yelling four letter curse words. Suddenly, that polar vortex and sub-zero temperatures of mid-January starts to feel like an oasis. Pick your poison, I guess…
Aside from my personal disdain for being hot, sweaty and uncomfortable, I’ve been more keenly aware of the effects of heat on the human body with a newborn at home. Our pediatrician was quick to remind us that babies are much more sensitive to changes in temperature as they have less body mass and skin surface area to insulate themselves in the cold or dissipate heat and sweat when it’s hot out. The same can be said for pets, specifically dogs, who also run the risk of burning their paws on the scorching hot pavement. Proceed with caution if you plan to take your pets out on a walk!
My approach to dealing with a heat wave is simple: remain in the air conditioning or in the water at all times. More importantly, stay hydrated. As much as I love a cold beer (in the pool) on a hot summer day, I love a cold glass of water even more. In writing this article, I did a bit of googling about how much water the body needs and how quickly the effects of dehydration can set in. While the timetable can vary depending upon a host of factors (including weight, temperature, humidity, activity level, etc.), once an adult loses 3-4% of their body weight in water, things start to get ugly. At around 6%, you’re looking at a trip to the hospital. Much more than that and you can assume the worst. If you’re trying to do the math, a safe assumption is that you can lose about 2 pounds (1.5 – 2 liters) of water an hour on a hot day with only a mild activity level of activity.
Once you’ve figured out how to stay cool, comfortable and hydrated, it is also key to make sure your’re protected as well. That means avoiding one of the only things sure to ruin a holiday weekend – a nasty sunburn. I don’t shy away from sunscreen when I’m outside, because if there is one thing I hate more than being hot and sweaty, it’s being hot, sweaty and sunburned. It may look like an oil slick coming off my body in the pool, but with age comes wisdom and the realization that a burnt red body looks even worse than a milky white one!
Enjoy the sunshine!
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