Weathering These Dog Days

The Dog Days of Summer symbolize the beginning of the end of Summer. These are usually the hottest, muggiest, driest, and steamiest days of the year. In addition to long days of blistering and stifling heat, it is also a period of drought and occasionally intense thunderstorms.

Initially coined by the ancient Romans, they defined the period of Dog Days being between July 3, to August 11. It is believed this is the period when Sirius, the Dog Star rises at the same time of the sun, and positions itself in the heavens to generate higher temperatures. Naturally, barring a necessity, the searing heat during the peak hours of the day inclines us to stay indoors, but there are safeguards we can utilize to survive the hottest of days. It goes without saying that adequate and continuous hydration must be a key staple to survive these days. Drink fluids all day, water preferably, but if not, at least try to limit your caffeine and alcohol intake. Try eating lighter and healthier by incorporating more fruit, salad and vegetables into your diet. This is gravely important for those who labor outside or kids who are outside for the majority of the day. If this is the case, try to wear lightweight, layered clothing including some type of headgear. If you and your kids are going to the beach or the pool, please be sure to wear an adequate amount of sunscreen.

We must also be mindful to keep a close eye on our seniors. The older they get, the harder it becomes to regulate their body temperature, especially when perspiring. Seniors with pacemakers or heart-related maladies should be monitored continuously. Heat is one of the leading causes of weather-related deaths in the U.S. causing hundreds of fatalities a year. So please take the necessary precautions by keeping a close eye on our friends and family. In so doing, together we can get through the Dog Days of Summer.

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