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5 Strategies for Staying Safe in the Summer Heat

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5 Strategies for Staying Safe in the Summer Heat

In less than a day, summer will have officially begun—bringing with it warmer temperatures and more opportunities to enjoy nature’s many gifts.

But for the elderly and chronically ill, the onset of summer poses a few problems.

In the warmer seasons, temperatures can vary a lot in a 24-hour period. Depending on where you live, the sun may rise on a 60 degree morning, and set on an 80 degree evening.

These tetchy temperatures can be harmful to older adults, according to a recent study from Harvard University.

After gathering data on two decades of chronically-ill Medicare recipients, researchers concluded that irregular temperature fluctuations may cause as many as 10,000 extra deaths among the elderly nationwide each year.

Even tiny temperature increases (less than two degrees Fahrenheit), may increase an aging individual’s risk of death by as much as four percent, depending on which chronic health conditions they suffer from.

The study found that elders suffering from heart disease, heart failure, diabetes and chronic lung ailments were highly susceptible to changing temperatures.

“Older people and those with chronic health conditions have a harder time thermo-regulating and acclimating to heat,” says study co-author, Antonella Zanobetti, Ph.D, a senior research scientist for the Harvard School of Public Health.

Prior research made the association between heat waves and a heightened risk of death. However this is the first study to connect long-term mortality with minor temperature variations, a link that study authors say is becoming increasingly relevant as the consequences of global climate change begin to appear.

Continue reading to discover some helpful tips for staying safe in the summer sun

10 Summer Activities That Are Good for the Soul
7 Spring and Summer Foods With Surprising Health Benefits
3 People Who Are Changing What it Means to Age

Swinging Summer Temperatures May Put Seniors Health at Risk originally appeared on

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Read more: Fun, General Health, Health, Healthy Aging, Life, Nature, Outdoor Activities, , , , , ,

By Anne-Marie Botek, Editor

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11:28AM PDT on Apr 16, 2014

Just got a [link = ""]new air conditioning system[/link] in my house last week! Hopefully it curbs my heat problems!

Here's to hoping! :)

6:24PM PDT on Jun 29, 2013


9:10PM PDT on Jun 26, 2013

To Michael H - just thought I'd let you know that alcohol dehydrates the body...

If people don't know by now, they should - hydrate, hydrate, hydrate - not with alcohol, or even sugary sodas, but cool water is best. Not from plastic bottles, unless it's an emergency, but from the tap, or fountain.

As far as sunscreens go, I'm not exactly sad I can't use them because of my allergies. As some have said here, who wants to slather themselves, their family, with yukky chemicals that aren't even pronounceable.

7:33AM PDT on Jun 26, 2013


3:40AM PDT on Jun 26, 2013

Thank you :)

12:03PM PDT on Jun 25, 2013


10:58AM PDT on Jun 25, 2013

I made sure to look into ac service back when it was still cooler out. I never used to, but now that I have kids, I make it a top priority to keep my kids comfortable all year round.

9:19AM PDT on Jun 25, 2013

Summer is here and we need to remember to protect our pets from the dangers of summer as well. I've already read about animals dying because they've been left in a hot vehicle.

There is NO REASON why an animal should be left in a vehicle. Take them to the vet, take them to the dog park, take them to the pet supply store to buy them a toy but do not take them and leave them, even for a minute.

These deaths are 100% preventable. If it's too hot for you, then it's definitely too hot for your pet.

6:01PM PDT on Jun 23, 2013

cool no HOT ideas

4:52AM PDT on Jun 22, 2013

Sunscreen may not be a good idea. Applying these chemicals directly onto the skin ...

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Thanks so much for sharing!


This is annoying. The link to how bodily aluminium levels are being measured appears broken. The am…

Interesting but some would be impractical. Plants above a pet's condo/bed/whatever needs to be caref…

Great ideas! I have a spool on my front porch. I use it for my house plants in the summer.


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