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The Weather’s Hot, Hot, Hot! So Stay Safe, Safe, Safe!

07/03/18

Heat wave

With temperatures in the region inching close to the triple digits—and the heat index exceeding them—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer these tips for staying safe when the thermometer soars.

  • Limit time outside – Reduce exercise time during heat waves; choose cooler times such as early morning or late evening. Rest often in shady areas. Better yet, exercise inside in air conditioning.
  • Seek cool places – If you do not have air conditioning, choose places you could go for relief during the warmest part of the day (e.g., schools, libraries, theatres, malls, etc.).
  • Stay hydrated – Don’t wait until you feel thirsty, drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks, which can cause you to lose more fluid.
  • Wear sunscreen – Sunburn can dehydrate you and prevent your body’s ability to cool down. Use SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes before you go outside; sunscreens that say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” will work best. Wearing sunscreen is always recommended, even on cooler or overcast days, for protection from damaging rays that can lead to skin cancer.
  • Check the car – Be sure to look in the backseat to make sure you are not leaving a child (or a pet) in the car. Even with the windows open, the inside of a car can heat up to deadly temperatures in only minutes; it is particularly dangerous for children, whose body temperatures warm at a rate three to five times faster than an adult’s.
  • Check on family and friends – Monitor loved ones who are high-risk, including the elderly and disabled.
  • Know symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include

  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, pale, clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Headache
  • Passing out

If someone is exhibiting these symptoms, move that person to a cooler environment with circulating air. Remove or loosen as much clothing as possible and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of a cool fluid such as a sports drink, water, or fruit juice to restore fluids and electrolytes (4 ounces of fluid every 15 minutes). If the person’s condition does not improve or if he or she refuses water, has a change in consciousness, or vomits, call 911.

Symptoms of heat stroke include

  • Body temperature of 103 degrees or higher
  • Hot, red, dry or damp skin
  • Fast, strong pulse
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Passing out

Heat stroke is life-threatening. If you notice someone exhibiting these symptoms, call 911 immediately, and try to cool the person by sponging him or her with towels soaked in cold water and/or placing bags of ice on him or her. Continue to refresh the cold towels until help arrives.