Local News

Those Without A/C Find Creative Ways to Beat Heat

Posted July 19, 1998

— When the heat soars, many people can't afford the luxury of air conditioning. Instead, they have to look for cheaper ways to stay cool and safe. Many say they just do their best to keep cool without it.

To beat the heat, Afiya Thompson and her family dress in cool clothes, and stay close to their window fan, but that only keeps them comfortable for so long.

"When the fan starts blowing hot air, we usually go over to someone's house that has air conditioning," says Thompson.

She and her family also take lots of cold showers and drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

Emergency Room Doctor Scott Meyer says those are good precautions, but he advises drinking sports drinks too.

"When you are sweating, you are losing lots of sodium from your body," says Meyer. "When you take salt tablets you are not replacing the water and when you are drinking water you are not replacing the sodium, so you need both."

Ruth Dyson worries about her grandchildren getting overheated outside. Even though she does not have air conditioning, she keeps them indoors on really hot days. Monday, the kids got a special treat when a fire engine blasted out 500 gallons of water a minute, giving the children a safe way to cool off.

"Kids aren't going to sit still like we do, they like to play and run so they can go and get wet and won't get dehydrated," says Dyson.

Her kids had no problem staying cool Friday, but Meyer says children aren't likely to let parents know when they start feeling overheated.

Meyers advises parents to watch for changes in their children's behavior or complaints of stomach aches. Both are symptoms that could indicate heat exhaustion in children.

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