Apparently it's observed the last Friday in May. I'm not sure who really observes this day, but today you're supposed to try to use #NationalHeatAwareness in your social media posts. Maybe some magic genie will grant you 3 wishes if you do.
But all kidding aside, summer is coming and heat is definitely something to think about. I know girls think it's cool and beautiful to get a suntan but let me ask you this question: Is it cool to have cancer? No, I'm not joking. Suntans are not safe and I really don't care that all your friends are doing it. You know how I always tell you to stand out of the crowd and be unique? Well, now's a good time to stand up and be unique - and smarter than your friends who are out in the sun. I'm definitely not telling you to stay inside (what a boring summer that would be!), but just grab your sunscreen before you head out to the beautiful beach! Suntans and sunburns are bad news - they can cause early aging signs (wrinkles if you will) and increase a person's risk of getting skin cancer. In fact, people under 35 who use tanning bed increase their risk for melanoma by 75%. Now, tell me: you still want that tan? I think not!
But heat isn't only a skin problem. It can also cause dehydration - which, I tell you from personal experience is not fun.
One summer, I was working in a local day camp. It was Wednesday, which meant it was major trip day, so we packed up and headed for the buses. I'm not sure why this wasn't checked out first but the bus I was on had no air conditioning and it was over 100°F outside! The trip was two hours away from the camp and it was an outdoor trip by a small lake. One of my jobs was to care for the camp director's baby among many other jobs which is thankfully the reason I had an assistant - who happened to be my friend :) It was a beautiful place, actually, with the bluest lake, lush, green grass, clear blue skies - just gorgeous!
My friend and I were standing together while I was holding the baby, when suddenly everything around me started to look green. I shoved the baby into my friend's arms and sat down by the picnic table which was luckily right where we were standing. The next thing I knew, the director was standing over me with bottles of water and popsicles. We knew I needed to get into a cool, air conditioned place but of course the only place around was a police station - a five minute walk uphill in the sun. No shade. Nothing. So slowly but surely, stopping along the way to rest when I felt dizzy, we made it to the police station (and there we just looked around at the WANTED signs 😂)
That's my personal story about dehydration and heat exhaustion. But I'm sure you've heard stories of children being left in hot cars. Those stories unfortunately don't always end happily. Heat is a dangerous thing and we can't just play around without taking safety precautions first. So, to help you out a bit before you head out into the beautiful sunshine this summer, I put together a little list of ways to be proactive and protected. Don't let those powerful rays harm you. Stay safe and have an awesome summer!