The Heat Is On

By: Marcus Washington
By: Marcus Washington

June 14, 2005

Temperatures reached 99 degrees today with the heat index, and those high temperatures can be dangerous to work in.

Even air conditioning units looked as if they were breaking a sweat with the constant rise in the temperature.

Brian Shepard, Construction Manager for Barton Malow Construction Company, said he makes sure he takes a break when he's too hot.

"If I feel like I'm getting overheated, I'll usually go and take a break--a five or ten minute break, [and] go into the shade. I sit down for a few minutes and just drink plenty of water, maybe a soda, or something like that, and stay cool, " said Shepard.

That is exactly what doctors are advising you to do if you have to work outdoors during high level heat. Keep your body hydrated and make sure you give your body a five minute break in the shade every hour or so.

Everyone in the sun isn't working. Today is the first day of summer vacation for many students. Several families took their kids to local swimming pools to stay cool, but if outdoors isn't your thing, you can always take it in somewhere cooler.

Taking the adventures indoors during the summer isn't a bad thing to do on hot days like this. Crystal Saraaia went ice skating to avoid the heat. "It makes us feel refreshed, because we just came back from basketball camp also and we got all hot and sweaty so we decided to come here," she explained.

If you ever keep your activity outdoors, there are some tips you should consider.

"The key is pre-hydration," said Peter Sweeney, BAT/Chief of Charlottesville Fire Dept. "Drinking plenty of fluids ahead of time, particularly water. Anything that has sugar in it, or caffeine is not recommended."

Besides staying hydrated, here are some other things to remember when facing that heat:

1. Wear sunglasses

2. Stay away from liquids containing alcohol, sugar, or caffeine

3. Wear a wide-brimmed hat

4. No matter how dark your skin, use sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher

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