Thursday, July 31, 2014

How to keep climate change from ruining your summer

Climate change is making summer more dangerous, according to the National Resources Defense Council. Unfortunately, increases in heat, bad air, mosquitoes and pollen can suck the fun out of summer.

In our latest podcast, APHA’s Get Ready campaign speaks with Kim Knowlton, senior scientist at the National Resources Defense Council and co-deputy director of the NRDC Science Center, about how you can get ready for the effects of climate change during the summer.

“Preparedness is key,” Knowlton says. “We need to prepare for the effects of climate change.”
One of the most common myths about summer weather is the confusion between a heat wave and a typical, hot summer day. Knowlton says a heat wave means there are extremely hot temperatures that last more than two consecutive days. It’s also important to note that heat waves vary from place to place.

“There is no one heat wave definition or temperature that applies everywhere,” Knowlton says. “People who live where it’s cooler are generally more sensitive to extreme heat.”

The council has created a new fact sheet on some of the things that are getting worse during the summer months because of climate change and ways people can avoid them. Some of the tips are:
• Heat waves: Reduce, reschedule or eliminate intense activities until the coolest part of the day. Don’t get too much sun. Sunburn lowers your body’s ability to deal with heat.
• Bad air alert days: Asthma sufferers should follow their asthma action plans and keep their quick-relief medicine handy.
• Ticks and mosquitoes: To avoid insect bites, tuck in your shirt and wear long sleeves, long pants and socks when spending time outside. After spending time outdoors, check for ticks and remove them with tweezers.

Listen to our podcast with Knowlton now. For more seasonal preparedness tips, check out the Get Ready Summer Safe page

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