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It doesn't matter how long you’ve lived in Vegas; whether you’re a longtime local or a new arrival, surviving the Las Vegas summer heat can be a struggle. And even though we tend to make plenty of jokes about it being a dry heat, the soaring temperatures can actually pose a very real danger.
This year, we’ve already seen our city hit record highs that go well above 100 degrees. It’s been extremely hot so far this summer, and it won’t be cooling off anytime soon. Staying cool - and staying safe - is a must. But unfortunately, many of the common warning signs of heat-related illness can be easy to miss. It’s not uncommon for people to miss the symptoms until they are severely ill, especially if they’re fairly new to the intense temperatures of Vegas in the summer.
We’ve put together a useful guide to help you beat the heat, rounding up our top tips for keeping yourself well-hydrated, safe, and comfortable during the sizzling summer months in Las Vegas.
Tips for Heat Safety
So, can your body adjust to extreme heat if you’ve lived in Vegas for a while? You might hope that you would have some sort of tolerance to high temperatures after all these years.
Unfortunately, you don’t necessarily develop any special sort of ability to withstand our seriously hot summers. But, you can adjust your routine with smart summertime habits that help you stay cool and out of danger of heat exhaustion - and enjoy the season at the same time.
Here are some safety tips for surviving your first (or your fiftieth!) summer in Vegas:
Try to Do Your Outdoor Activities in the Early Morning or Late Evening
Just because it’s summer, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on spending time outside. It’s definitely still possible to exercise outdoors, garden, and even go for an enjoyable walk, as long as you avoid the hottest part of the day.
During the morning and evening hours, temperatures will typically be lower. At midday, you can expect the heat (and the sun) to be its highest, so minimize outdoor activity.
Stay Hydrated by Consistently Drinking Water and Other Fluids Throughout the Day
If you’re feeling thirsty, you’re probably already dehydrated. Instead of waiting until you’re craving a cold beverage, make sure you regularly drink water (and other fluids) all day long. Dehydration not only makes you feel tired and irritable, but it’s also one of the first stages of heat-related illnesses.
Aim for two to four glasses every hour to stay hydrated, and use sports drinks to replenish the electrolytes you lose through sweat. Keep in mind that if you’re on diuretics or a fluid-restricted diet, it’s important to check with your doctor to avoid drinking too much water.
Stick To Lightweight, Loose-Fitting Clothing
Dressing appropriately for the hot weather makes all the difference, especially if you wear breathable, moisture-wicking fabric. Choose lighter fabrics whenever possible to help minimize sweating.
Take Breaks Regularly and Slow Down Your Pace
Even for those of us that have lived in Las Vegas for years, getting used to the higher temperatures takes some time. As we hit the hottest months of the year, take it slow - your body can take up to 10 days or so to acclimate to the heat.
And even after you’re more confident in your tolerance, be careful about overdoing it. Regular breaks to eat and drink are a must, especially to avoid dehydration. Find some shade (or better yet, some air conditioning) and relax for a bit before continuing.
Use Sun Protection
A hat, sunglasses, and some sunscreen are summertime staples in the high desert, both for keeping cool and reducing your risk of skin cancer. Look for a sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 15, and make sure to follow the instructions for proper application.
If You Aren’t Feeling Well, Stop What You’re Doing and Find a Place to Cool Off and Rest
Your body will usually tell you when the heat is getting to be too much; you just have to listen to it. If you begin feeling “off” while you’re outside, don’t wait until the situation escalates. Instead, hit pause on whatever you’re doing and turn your attention to bringing down your body temperature and drinking some water.
Be Aware of the Weather
It might seem silly to check the weather forecast for the summer in Vegas, especially because we can typically expect sun and heat every day. But checking the heat index (not just the temperature) can help you prepare for the weather and how hot it’s going to really “feel”:
- If the heat index is 80 to 90 degrees, you might be able to do some outdoor activity for short periods. Depending on certain factors, heat exhaustion is still possible.
- If the heat index is 90 to 105 degrees, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat stroke are possible with extended time outdoors.
- If the heat index is 105 or higher, heat exhaustion becomes very likely - in other words, stay indoors.
Know the Signs of Heat-Related Illness (And What to Do)
One of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of getting sick from the heat is to know some of the most common symptoms of heat-related illnesses, as well as what to do if you're experiencing them:
- Heat cramps: Signs include heavy sweating and muscle pain/cramps, often caused by dehydration. This is the first level of heat-related illness. Heat indoors, drink some water or a sports drink and rest.
- Heat exhaustion: Symptoms of this dangerous condition include sweating, cramps, headache, dizziness, weakness, fast or weak pulse, and fainting. Immediately go inside, then take a cool bath (or cover your body in cool clothes) and slowly sip water. If you vomit or your symptoms last more than an hour, seek medical help.
- Heatstroke: Heatstroke can be deadly, and symptoms include all those mentioned above, as well as hot, dry skin, a high body temperature, and confusion. Call 911 for immediate emergency help, moving to a cooler location if possible.
- Stay inside when possible.
Ultimately, the easiest way to avoid the dangers of heatstroke or exhaustion is to simply stay indoors when it’s especially hot outside. Air conditioning and a nice, cold drink are a good way to pass the time until the sun sets when you can head back out and enjoy the slightly cooler temperatures.
Put Your Health First with Friday Health Plans
The best health insurance is the kind that gives you the freedom to focus on enjoying your life instead of spending your time feeling stressed about the cost of healthcare and quality coverage. We make it easy to find providers, get the care you need, and get back to making the most of every day.
Friday Health Plans offers both individual and group health plans in Las Vegas, making it easy to buy your own health insurance without sacrificing coverage or your budget. Learn more about our budget-friendly health insurance for small businesses and individuals when you contact us to get a free quote today.
At Friday Health Plans, our mission has always been to make good health accessible to all. From providing useful information and resources to simplifying affordable health insurance for individuals and small businesses, we’re committed to empowering people to take a proactive role in achieving health and happiness.