Hot. Humid. Scattered thunderstorms.
If you've ever spent time in South Florida during the summer, these are three terms you're used to hearing.
This week proves no different for Miami, with the temperature hovering around 88 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Weather Service forecast. The heat index for the next few days will make it feel between 98 and 100 degrees. Coupled with high humidity and scattered thunderstorms, going outside will be unbearable, as it tends to be between the months of May and August.
But it's more than just sweating and wilting in the heat that you have to worry about.
According to the Picture of America Heat-Related Illness report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of the 8,081 heat-related deaths from 1999-2010, 94 percent of them occurred during May-September. In the last 30 years, heat tops the charts in terms of weather fatalities, reported the National Weather Service. And according to the CDC, more than 600 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year.
There are many ways to stay safe in these hot summer months.
For one, you can take a tip from this cow.
Cape Coral police found the escaped cow cooling off in a residential pond and had to chase it down to return it to its rightful owner.
While the American Red Cross doesn't suggest using a pond that doesn't belong to you to cool down, the not-for-profit organization does have some tips for escaping the heat and having a safe summer.
Some of their heat safety tips include:
▪ staying hydrated
▪ using a buddy system when working outside or to check on neighbors
▪ wearing loose, lightweight, and light-colored clothing
▪ avoiding the outside during the hottest part of the day (noon to 3 p.m.) or for long periods of time
▪ not leaving children or pets in hot vehicles, as temperatures can quickly reach 120 degrees within minutes, even if the windows are cracked.
Last year, 43 children died from heat stroke after being left in a car, according to KidsAndCars.org. So far in 2018, 18 children have died.
The South Florida Region of the Red Cross suggests keeping an eye on heat-related symptoms that could lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Signs of heat exhaustion include, but are not limited to, moist or pale skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, and dizziness. Heat stroke is more life-threatening — and anyone exhibiting red hot skin, changes in consciousness, vomiting, and high body temperature needs immediate medical attention.