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Check on others in hot weather

Who says we don’t have near-perfect temperatures in El Paso this time of year? Yeah, until about 10:30 a.m., and once it nears dark and the sidewalks stop shimmering.

We all know it’s hot. Five o’clock in the afternoon is just a pizza oven out there.

But knowing it’s hot, and making sure hot doesn’t getcha, are two different things.

And being able to do something about it comes into play. While you’re heading for some place with air conditioning, keep in mind it’s the duty of a good citizen to check on older neighbors who don’t seem to leave the house often, anymore.

Are they OK in there?

Just because there’s an air conditioner doesn’t mean the people inside are using it. Those living on small monthly allowances, perhaps just Social Security — or not even that — often have to make “penny here and penny there” spending choices. And more often than not, food trumps running the air conditioner, so as not to run up the electric bill.

Be a good neighbor. Check on the elderly, especially if you see they have few, if any, family visitors. Peek around while visiting; perhaps they could at least use a fan.

Bring over a neighborly batch of brownies and add, “Oh, and I have this fan I don’t use. Would you like it?”

But meanwhile, back on the homefront, hot can getcha even if you have the comforts that help stave off June, July and August heat.

Stay hydrated. Nope, a couple of beers on the back patio isn’t good hydrating. And all that good news of late about the health benefits of coffee? Well, yes, but the caffeine in coffee is a negative amid high heat.

A glass of cool water lots of times a day equals hydration. Sports drinks are good for you, too. And you’ve got to eat. Heat preys on the weak of body.

But what if?

Yes, you’re losing ground if you start to run a high temperature, feel weak or get dizzy. A headache on a really hot day could mean you’re grasped by heat exhaustion.

Check for those signs in others, especially the elderly and children. Muscle cramps are another sign of heat exhaustion.

Mostly, it’s common sense. Your body will often tell you the dos and don’ts.

Oh, and by the way, between late morning and early evening, get out of the sun, already!

El Paso Times