Finally, we may be getting a break from the heat that has settled into the Red Hills area the last week or so.

For the next few days, temperatures will be in the upper 80s and it will be very humid, meaning the heat indices will be very high. The last few days, the temperatures and the heat indices were excessive.

Temperatures late Friday afternoon were in the mid to upper 90s, and the heat index shot past 100. Saturday, the heat index hit 106.

Since we’re still not out of summer just yet — even though school is back in session — make sure to check on the very young and elderly when temperatures and heat indices climb. They are the most vulnerable to heat-related problems. Remember, it is never safe to leave a child, disabled person or a pet locked inside a car. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 31 children have died  in hot cars already this year. 

The Centers for Disease Control urge to stay cool, stay hydrated and stay informed. Choose lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing when outdoors. Try to stay cool indoors and schedule outdoor activities for either early morning or late evening hours.

Also, pace yourself. The CDC recommends cutting down on exercise in the heat. Even local football teams have to stop practice once the hygrometer reading hits the mark telling them to take a break or go indoors. The CDC states that if exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, stop all activity. Get into a cool area or into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.

Drink plenty of fluids, regardless of how active you are, and refrain from sugary or alcoholic drinks, since they cause you to lose more body fluid. Keep your pets hydrated, too.

If you are working outdoors, employ a buddy system.

The expected break in the heat at the end of this week will be a welcome relief. But in case the heat does come back, like it has been known to do, following these steps can help weather the conditions.