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The weather is getting and staying really hot (but thank goodness we don’t have humidity to go along with it). We live in such beautiful country that it would be a shame if we didn’t take advantage of the outdoors, but staying safe while we do it. Here are a few ideas on the ways to stay cool in the heat.

Food/drink

Since we live in a part of the country where it cools down at night and warms to the hottest degrees late afternoon, it would only make sense that anything you do in your home that creates heat be done in the early morning or late evening when it is cooler. If you need to bake or cook and turn on the oven or stove, try to do it in the cooler times of the day. After all, the stove or oven stays warm quite a while after you are finished cooking or baking which then continues to warm you home. Try to eat cool items such as cold sandwiches, cold salads and other foods that are refrigerated or don’t need a heat source to get them ready to eat. Drink cold drinks with ice cubes (if you like ice cubes) even if it is just water. We have very good water quality here in the Klamath Falls area, so just add ice to make it a refreshing drink. Frozen treats such as ice cream, popsicles and other frozen items can be fun as well as keeping you cool.

Inside

In order to save on power bills and still keep your home cool, keep your blinds, curtains and drapes drawn for sure when sun is on them. If you have air conditioning, turn the temperature up a few degrees – you’ll still stay cool while saving some money on your electric bill. Keep doors and vents shut to rooms that you don’t use so you save on cooling them. If you don’t have air conditioning, try a swamp cooler as they aren’t nearly as expensive, or buy some fans (be sure to use coupons for extra off to get them at a better price). In the early mornings, while you are home, open your outside doors but keep the screens closed to let in some cool air while keeping the flies and bugs out; but be sure to close the doors once it starts to warm up. If you don’t have any way to cool your home, then take advantage of going to air conditioned stores in the hot part of the day to keep cool.

Outside

If you have to go outside in the heat or if you work outside on hot days, be sure to stay safe and avoid heat stroke. Wear a hat, put on sunscreen, wear long sleeves to protect your arms from the sun. Be sure to take breaks in the shade and drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated. If you like to take walks during the day, walk in the cooler morning with a hat or sunbrella and try to walk in the shade some. Go to the pool or take the kids to the splash parks or let them run through the sprinklers. Be sure they are protected with sunscreen. Maybe go to the lake for the day and swim in the cool water and then have a picnic in the shade.

Vehicles

Vehicles can become very hot when parked. Put shades in your front window when the vehicle is parked. Have your air conditioner serviced so it works efficiently. Try to run your errands in the mornings or evenings when it is cooler. Park in the shade, even if you have to walk a little farther. If you go shopping and buy items that may melt or need kept cold, take a freezer bag with a couple of bottles of water that you keep frozen to help keep everything you put it in cold, otherwise things may melt before you get home.

Clothing

Wear light-weight clothing and light colors to stay cool. You can always add layers later when the temperatures cool down. Sandals and flip-flops are cooler than tennis shoes. If need be, put cold compresses on your neck or forehead if you become warm. Whatever you wear, be respectful of others and stay within the guidelines of decency.

The most important thing to remember about this summer is to be safe with the sun and still enjoy it.