The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


Stay cool in the extreme heat

Abigail Troth

Weeks have passed with only a few droplets of rain and sweltering heat here in the Magnolia State. Due to the powerful heat and rising temperatures, many have fallen sick with heat exhaustion. According to Merit Health Wesley, the number of patients diagnosed with heat exhaustion between May and September has risen by 53 percent.

As Golden Eagles are welcomed home to the beautiful city of Hattiesburg, many can be found sweating as they walk to class under the beating sun. Students, as we battle this unwelcome heat, there are many ways to stay safe in this extreme weather.

When dealing with extreme temperatures in this unusually hot summer, there are three goals to maintain. Stay hydrated, stay in air-conditioned areas, and limit outdoor activities. Two of these goals are easily attainable, since water fountains are available in every building, and you can stop at the P.O.D.s on campus to purchase a bottle of water. All classrooms, dormitories, and other buildings are equipped with air-conditioning to provide relief from the heat. However, avoiding the outdoors is not easy for people on campus. To get from place to place on campus, that requires walking outdoors.

There are remedies to this. You can carry an umbrella to avoid the sun and keep in the shade. Walk under trees, in the shade, or pass through buildings to avoid being overheated by the sun. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times so you can stay hydrated in the heat.

Hydration is key during the dangerous heat. You can drink things like Gatorade or Powerade to stay hydrated, but water is always important and should be on hand constantly. Caffeine and alcoholic beverages can contribute to dehydration if taken in consumption. Lower your caffeine intake during this time, and make sure you’re drinking enough water.

Always wear sunscreen so you can avoid painful sunburns and keep your skin healthy in the long run. Try to wear broad-spectrum sunscreen of 15, but 30 to 50 would be better for sunburn prevention.

Try to wear lightweight or loose-fitting clothes. Heavy clothes such as hoodies or thick blue jeans can put you at a high risk for heat-related illness and can cause weakness.

If you begin feeling weak in the heat, take a moment and recompose yourself. Drink water slowly, rest for a minute in the shade, and then see how you feel. If you begin feeling too weak or dizzy, visit Moffitt Health at Century Park South to receive proper care. You can also take cold showers or baths to cool down in your dorm or apartment.

The hottest part of the day during this time is usually between 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The sun beats down during this time, meaning that heat exhaustion and sunburns are much more common. During this time, stay indoors as much as you can. This is easy for us students as we are usually inside during this time anway!

Rest is of the utmost importance. If you must participate in outdoor activities (which can be unavoidable for some), carry a wet towel or a rag to wipe your face or to keep cool.

One of the most fun remedies during this time is swimming. Luckily for those at USM, the Payne Center has the M.C. Johnson Natatorium available for people to cool off in. The pool opens at 6 a.m. until 8 a.m. Monday through Friday for lap swimming. The pool reopens for more lap swimming from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lap swimming continues from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., when the pool closes. On Wednesdays, an aqua boot camp is available from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. On weekends, the pool is open for recreational and lap swimming from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The natatorium is not only fun and great for exercise, but a wonderful resource for those who need a break from the sweltering heat.

Remember, Eagles. Cold weather will be coming soon and there will be relief to this heat. Until then, stay hydrated and cool and continue doing your best this semester!

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