Have fun, be practical while beating heat

It doesn't get any hotter than this. The average high temperature is 92 degrees each day this week and next, the hottest average highs of the year. The average low temperature is 70 degrees. Record temperatures during this week in history range from 102 to 107 degrees, according to The Weather Channel's Web site.



Bring your own fan. You can find a reasonably priced battery-operated or electric portable fan. Women can invest in folding hand-held fans, which are also elegant accessories.

Stand under a mister. You can find misters at Lake Olmstead Stadium for Augusta GreenJackets games and downtown on Saturdays at Saturday Market on the River, at Eighth and Reynolds streets.

Use a parasol or umbrella. For convenience, buy a pocket umbrella to protect yourself from the sun's rays.

Drink ice water or other iced beverages. Cool down with essential summer drinks. Make sure you have plenty of ice cubes. Avoid alcoholic beverages, though.

Eat ice cream. Summer is the time to indulge in your favorite ice cream, frozen yogurt or frozen fruit concoction.

Play in the water. Run through the sprinklers at home or find a splash park or fountain to keep cool.

Go ice skating. Strap on a pair of skates and play on the ice. You'll probably even have to wear warm clothing.

Hang out in air-conditioned places. Save some money on your power bill and cool down at your favorite retailer, bookstore, theater or coffee shop.

Sit in the shade. Lounge on your porch or pull a chair under a tree and let the leaves shade you from the sun.

Less is more. Summer is the time for dressing less with shorts, tank tops and sundresses.


Q: Does eating fiery foods cool you off?

A: "I think the thought process behind it is that when you eat spicy foods, it causes you to sweat," said Nicole Moore, the outpatient adult dietitian at Medical College of Georgia Hospital. "It's actually the sweating that cools you off. The perspiration evaporates and that causes you to cool down."

She is not sure, however, whether that has been scientifically proved or works for everyone.

Q: What's the best way to cool off fast?

A: When you're overheated, the best thing to do is take a cool shower.

That cools down your body temperature as quickly as possible, said Dr. Brandy Turner, a family nurse practitioner and the director of the nurse practitioner program at the Medical College of Georgia's School of Nursing.

Q: How do roofers stay cool?

A: Bob Stevens, the owner of Southern Roofing and Insulation Co., said that his company provides plenty of ice for roofers to put into their coolers to chill their drinks. They have access to cold water all day.

His roofers start working at 7 or 7:30 a.m. to avoid some of the sun's rays. When the temperatures were in the 100s, his crews worked only six or seven hours a day.

Stevens urges his roofers to take breaks throughout the day and to stand in the shade whenever possible. Even the most experienced roofer can get overheated.

"That's just one of the things that comes along with the type of business this is," Stevens said. "When you get dizzy or feel faint, you just have to get out of the heat.

"It happens to everybody. It's just one of those things that you have to be aware of."

Q: How do you stay cool in a swamp?

A: "That's easy. All you've got to do is get in the water. That's what I always did," said naturalist and folkways expert Dick Flood, who goes by the name of Okefenokee Joe.

If the water was shallow, he would lie down to cover his entire body, sometimes with all of his clothes on. He made sure to remove his wallet and car keys, though.

He shaded himself under trees and had an air conditioner in the cabin where he lived near the swamp. He survived the steamy swamp heat by placing a cool rag onto his head or neck.

Okefenokee Joe, who now lives in North Augusta, has played country music around the world and found a deeper calling in the Okefenokee Swamp. He speaks to children in schools about nature and writes songs about conserving the environment.

Cut cooling costs

Here are some additional tips that can also help you save money from Georgia Power:

- Use fans whenever possible. Install ceiling fans (clockwise rotation) in the rooms you use most. Ceiling fans can make the air in a room feel six degrees cooler and allow you to save energy.

- Run the dishwasher, dryer and the stove in the morning or after the sun goes down to avoid adding heat to your house during the hottest part of the day.

- Do some decorating. Lighter-colored walls, drapes, blinds and upholstery reflect light. Dark colors absorb heat and require more artificial light.

- Use pots and pans that match the size of the burners on your stove. This allows more heat to reach the pan and less heat will be lost to surrounding air.

- Use the range instead of the oven. Or, turn on the microwave or use a pressure cooker. Both use less power than a standard electric range.

- If you're baking, avoid opening the oven door. This lets out 20 percent of the heat. Use a cooking timer instead.

Take a dip


- Fleming Pool, 1941 Lumpkin Road, (706) 790-3758

- Dyess Pool, 902 James Brown Blvd., (706) 722-7334

- Jones Pool, 1400 Woodson Lane, (706) 722-3266

- Henry H. Brigham Swim Center, 2463 Golden Camp Road, (706) 772-5453

- Augusta Aquatics Center, 3157 Damascus Road, (706) 261-0424


- Brookfield Park, 2740 Mayo Road, Augusta, (706) 796-5025

- The Splash Pad at Charles H. Evans Community Center, 1866 Highland Ave., (706) 733-9210

- Columbia County Amphitheater picnic area, 7022 Town Center Blvd. in Evans, (706) 868-3349

Be practical

Dr. Brandy Turner, a family nurse practitioner and the director of the nurse practitioner program at the Medical College of Georgia's School of Nursing, offers stay-cool tips:

- Avoid being outside for long periods, and take frequent rest breaks. Don't stay out in the sun for more than 20 minutes at a time.

- This summer, Turner has seen a lot of patients who are dehydrated.

"Thirst is one of our last signs of dehydration. A lot of people wait until they're thirsty to drink something, and that's too long," Turner said. Don't drink fluids with caffeine, such as tea and soft drinks. These liquids can cause more dehydration because they make you urinate more. Drink water, sports drinks or Pedialyte instead.

- Being faint and nauseated are early signs of heat exhaustion. Check your pulse and drink a glass of water every half-hour when you're outside.

- Eat salty foods, such as chips, to increase the salt in your system. This helps you to retain fluid in your body.

- Wear light-colored clothes.