Staying cool in quarantine

While social distancing best practices may limit some of the ways you might typically cool down when it’s warm, there are still many ways you can keep your cool. 
Older Vermonters and people with disabilities and chronic conditions are at greater risk for serious heat-related illnesses, and even death when the statewide average temperature reaches 87 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter. Keep reading for tips to stay cool during hot weather: 
•  Drink up. Drink plenty of liquids, such as water or fruit or vegetable juices. Stay away from drinks containing alcohol or caffeine. Remember, start drinking water before you feel thirsty. If your doctor has told you to limit your liquids, ask what you should do when it is very hot.
•  Block the sun. Use blinds and curtains to help block the sun from heating your home. Be sure to still allow some light so you can still see and can safely navigate your home. 
•  Cool your home at night. The late evenings and overnight are often cooler than during the day. Open up your windows at night and let the night air cool down your home.
•  Stay downstairs. If your home has multiple levels, try and spend most of your time on the lower floors. Heat rises and can make the upper living areas much warmer.
•  Dress for the weather. Wear lighter colored fabrics that absorb and store less heat. Some people find natural fabrics, such as cotton, to be cooler than synthetic fibers.
•  Limit your physical activity during times of high heat. Don’t try to exercise or do a lot of activities outdoors when it’s hot. Check the weather to see when the coolest part of the day will be. Often early morning and evening are cooler.
•  Cool down with a shower. Feeling warm? Cool off by taking a shower.
•  Sign up for VT-Alert. VT-Alert will notify you of emergencies such as heat advisories:
Don’t forget, when you do spend time in the sun, be sure to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you go outside and wear a hat. Reapply every two hours and immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
Have a safe, sunny summer!
Editor’s note: The column originally was published by Age Well, an agency serving seniors in northwestern Vermont.

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