Tips for Surviving the Dog Days of Summer

Posted by Jo Ann Schlicker on August 21, 2015

Recently, many areas have experienced temperatures in the triple digits with double-digit humidity. We have entered the dog days of summer, named for the prominence of Sirius, the Dog Star, in the sky. It rises with the sun. According to legend, it is the time when snakes shed their skins and dogs turn surly and bad tempered. Can you blame them?

Hot, hazy, humid and sultry days can pose a danger to everyone but especially the elderly and the very young. Hypothermia and dehydration can make you feel sick and weak in a hurry. Here are some survival tips to make these hottest days safer, more comfortable and more enjoyable for you and your family.

Stay in during the hottest periods of the day and enjoy activities with your spouse and children. Games, arts and crafts and movies provide entertainment while you chat and catch up with each other. It is a good time to read books with the whole family.

Enjoy outside activities in the evening. It is a perfect time for a barbecue, a dip in the pool or a little snooze in a hammock. Invite the neighbors over for a few hours of fun, food and talk.

Check the temperature of the seats in a car before sitting. Wearing shorts leaves the legs bare and can cause burns when you sit on a sizzling hot car seat. Touch them with your hands to check the comfort level. Make sure to check your child's car seat also. Cover the seat with a towel if it is too hot.

Lock cars when not in use so little ones do not climb in and experience hypothermia. Never leave pets in the car and always make sure your little people are all accounted for when you get out. Ask older children to remind you if the baby is still in the car. Never assume that someone else took her out but always check for yourself.

Apply sunscreen liberally to bare skin before and during outdoor activities. You can be burned even on a cloudy day especially if you are near water.

Make sure your youngsters and you have enough to drink, preferably water. This is important if you do not feel thirsty.

Limit strenuous activities Confine exercise or jogging to the cooler hours of morning and evening. Heat stroke and dehydration are not fun.

Make the most of the fun dog days. You will soon wish for them again in when winter strikes, the snow flies, and the icy winds howl around your head. Just follow a few common sense practices to keep your brood cool and safe and you, too, will survive the days of Sirius rising.