Cassie Gibbs

Alright everybody, we’re here again. We’re feeling the heat in these dog days of summer.

I’m sure it was easy to miss, the sweat dripping down your forehead the moment you step out of a building with air conditioning or seeing whatever you look at it move in the heat like an oasis in the desert that happens to be a mirage.

What a time to be alive.

Do you happen to know how the dog days of summer came to be known as such? Funny enough, it’s not technically because of dogs lying down in the heat of the day. These days are actually named after one star, the Dog Star.

According to a National Geographic article, Greeks and Romans charted the movement of Sirius, the Dog Star, in relation to the sun. Dog days apparently began “around the day when Sirius appeared to rise just before the sun, in late July.”

Also, just for your trivia fun, the term “dog days” was only recently translated to English, meaning within the last 500-600 years. Even back then, though, the dog days were recognized as the hottest time of the year.

We, of course, are preparing for big things during these dog days we’re in. We have football season coming up, which is basically one big holiday season spanning several months.

Before we can get on the field, whether that means the players or the band, we’re practicing now, in the hottest days of the year.

Others may do yard work or just work in the sun, and if a person isn’t careful, heat can lead to bad things happening. The important thing to remember about the dog days of summer is to stay cool, so I figured I would share a few tips that I have found on www.ready.gov to keep you safe in the heat of the day.

If you are outside in extreme heat, find shade and wear a hat that can protect your face. If you can find a place with air conditioning, go in and take a break.

Wear loose, light-colored clothing, and drink plenty of fluids. You definitely do not want to get dehydrated.

Never leave a child, adult or animal alone in a car on a hot day, and consistently check those who do spend great amounts of time outside in the heat for signs of heat-related illness. These signs can include muscle pains or spasms, heavy sweating, paleness, tiredness, weakness, vomiting, fainting, a high temperature above 103 degrees or skin issues. If you do not know what actions to take in the case of any possible signs of heat-related illness, never be afraid to call 911.

Keep cool, stay hydrated and have fun, but also be safe during the dog days of summer.

Cassie Gibbs is a staff writer for The Southeast Sun and Daleville Sun-Courier. The opinions of this writer are her own and not the opinion of the paper. She can be reached at (334) 393-2969 or by email at cgibbs@southeastsun.com.

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