Keeping my cool with no air conditioner

Guest post by Kathryn Dunmore, Red Cross blogger

I love the summer and have always reveled in the heat the season brings. The summer’s sun is what gets me 
through Canadian winters. When my friend decided to get married in Cuba in July, I embraced the imminent heat with a welcoming ‘bring it on’.  Most days I don’t use my little air conditioner, but when it broke recently and temperatures reached into the 30s, I had to get practical about keeping my cool.
The Canadian Red Cross has information on heat safety posted online so I used this and the following tips picked up from friends and family to keep cool in the heat.
  • Wear light, loose clothing - cotton will keep you cooler than synthetic fabrics that are not as breathable. Cotton also absorbs perspiration better than other fabrics.
  • During the hottest part of the day, go to indoor, air-conditioned places like malls and libraries (I get my weekly video rental there now, along with my favoured fiction).
  • I have a pool nearby so I have increased my visits there; however, with no local pool close to you, take cool or tepid baths.
  • Drink plenty of cool liquids – stay away from alcohol and caffeine which dehydrates you. I keep water in a jug (Brita filtered jugs) in the fridge for continuously cold beverages.
  • Another way to stay hydrated is to keep water in a spray bottle for a refreshing spritzer. Keep this in the fridge for an extra refresh.
  • Freeze water in a cup or bottle (for portability) to enjoy the melting, ice-cold water – and add some fruit to your water for some flavour!
  • I keep the room cooler by keeping the curtains drawn and using my no-bake recipe book - you couldn’t pay me to turn on my oven or stove in the heat so I eat smaller meals, like salads, more often.
  • For a nice cool draft, I’ll put ice in a shallow pan in front of a fan to sit and enjoy with my ice slurpee.
  • And remember, keep an eye on your pets – if you’re hot, think of them in their fur coats.
Visit the Canadian Red Cross page for information on heat-related emergencies and take a Red Cross first aid course to learn the signs, symptoms and treatment of heat-related illnesses.

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