Heat Safety

July 20, 2016: With the intense heat coming Thursday and Friday, make sure you are taking care of yourself. We all know it gets hot in the summer and you have ways of dealing with the hot weather, but do be careful when conditions get this intense.

Combined, the hot air and high humidity will feel like the 100’s for much of Thursday and Friday afternoon. Here’s how you can help your body through the intense conditions:

Billboard 3

  • If you need to be outside, exercise or do hard work in the early morning or evening. These time periods avoid the heat of the day, and are a little cooler.
  • If you need to work outside, take frequent breaks, stay out of the direct sunlight as much as possible, and find a shady spot to cool off.
  • Drink lots of water! Sports drinks may help, but are also full of sugar, which isn’t the greatest for the body. Water is best.
  • Spend as much time in a cool, air conditioned place as you can. Your body gets pretty stressed fighting off the intense heat, so give is as much of a break as you can by getting into air conditioning.
  • Wear light colored, loose clothing.
  • Never leave your kids or your pets in a vehicle, even for a minute, even if the windows are rolled down. Temperatures can heat up very rapidly in a vehicle, turning the vehicle into an oven in only a handful of minutes.
  • Find a cool spot with plenty of water for your pets. Leave them inside in the air conditioning as much as possible.
  • Be careful with playground equipment and the pavement. Surfaces like the slide or the sidewalk can be very hot, and sometime burn either your kids or your dog’s paws (dogs sweat through their paws, so walk them early or late, when the pavement is cool).

Finally, know the signs of heat illnesses:

HEAT EXHAUSTION

  • Heat injuries start with heat cramps, so if you start cramping up in the heat, get inside and cool off.
  • Heat exhaustion is the next step as the body starts failing to cool off. You’ll feel very sweaty, and possibly dizzy, nauseous, and possibly starting fainting. Cramps may continue, vomiting is possible, and your skin will be pale and clammy. As before, get inside in the air conditioning, drink plenty of water, and maybe jump into a cool shower if you feel these symptoms. Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke if untreated.

HEAT STROKE

  • Heat stroke is a medical emergency. As with the other heat illnesses, your body isn’t able to cool off, but by this point your body temperature has reached 103° or higher. Your body can’t cool off, and will begin shutting down, with possibly organ failure or death! Symptoms of heat stroke are: no sweating, rapid pulse, fainting, pounding headache, rapid or racing pulse, and red, dry skin.  Call 9-1-1, and try to cool off as quickly as possible as you are waiting for help.

Call your doctor if you start experiencing these symptoms after being out in the heat for a while, and if you have any questions. Stay safe, and stay cool tomorrow!

-Alex

 

 

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Posted under weather

This post was written by Alex Kirchner on July 20, 2016

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