It’s been really hot outside this month. And it’s only going to get hotter – and for longer periods of time.

A study by the Union of Concerned Scientists published in July found the number of days in Florida with a heat index over 100 degrees Fahrenheit would more than quadruple to 105 days by mid-century. The number would rise to 144 days by the end of the century, the report found.

The extreme heat is the result of climate change which is making our planet warmer.

During extreme heat, it is easy to become dehydrated or for your body to overheat.

If this happens, you may develop heat cramps, heat exhaustion or even heatstroke. Keep in mind: Heatstroke is a medical emergency which can result in permanent damage to your vital organs, or even death, if not treated immediately. Extreme heat can also make existing medical conditions worse.

So what do we do? How do we take care of our children during these heat waves?

Here’s some tips:

  • Drink water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Take a bottle with you — always.
  • Hot cars kill. Never leave kids, older people or pets in cars. The temperature inside a parked car can double within minutes.
  • Plan ahead. Schedule activities in the coolest part of the day and avoid exercising in the heat. If you must go out, wear a hat and sunscreen and take a bottle of water with you.
  • Keep cool. Seek out air-conditioned buildings, draw your blinds, use a fan, take cool showers, and dress in light and loose clothing made from natural fabrics.

Living in Palm Beach County is great. We all have to find a way to live with extreme heat. Unfortunately, it’s the new normal.

(Photo credit: WBOC TV)