It’s hot out there – Extreme heat can be dangerous

By: Denise Koslowsky

Temperatures over the weekend soared and followed us into our workweek.  Excessive heat can be dangerous.  Illness is possible, even deadly. The American Red Cross offers steps people can take to stay safe when temperatures rise.  We encourage you to read through the tips below and apply them, especially for people who work or spend extended periods outside!

  • The temperature inside a car can reach as high as 120 degrees. NEVER leave children or pets inside the car.  Even a few minutes is too much!
  • Stay hydrated.  Drink plenty of water and avoid excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol as these types of beverages inhibit your body’s absorption of water.
  • Keep your pets hydrated and be sure they stay in the air conditioning or shade.
  • Stay indoors during the hottest part of the day (between 1pm – 5pm)
  • If possible postpone or reschedule outdoor games and activities.
  • If work or play cannot be rescheduled be sure to take frequent hydration breaks and be sure to have a buddy present so that if you should have a heat related emergency, there is someone nearby to help.
  • Wear loose fitting, lightweight, light colored clothing.

Heat Related Illnesses

Be on the lookout for illness that can be caused by extreme heat.  Sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are all possibilities at this time of year.

  • Be sure to use sunscreen.
  • If someone has heat related cramps in the legs or abdomen The American Red Cross recommends:
    • Get them to a cooler place.
    • Replenish their fluids with half a glass of water every 15 minutes.
    • Get them to lightly stretch the affected muscle.
    • Have them rest.
  • If you suspect heat exhaustion (signs include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea and dizziness) The American Red Cross recommends:
    • Get them to a cooler place.
    • Removed or loosen any tight clothing.
    • Splash them with water or apply wet cloths to their skin.
    • Fan them.
    • Give them small amounts of water to drink and encourage them to drink slowly.
    • If they will not drink, or if they vomit or lose consciousness, call 911.
  • Heat stroke is not something to take lightly.  It is life-threatening!  Signs include hot, red skin (it could be dry or moist), changes in consciousness, vomiting and high body temperatures. The American Red Cross recommends:
    • Call 911 right away.
    • Get them to a cooler place.
    • Cool their body temperature.  If possible, immerse them up to their neck in cold water.  If that is not possible, spray them with cold water or cover them with cold wet towels

#inextremeheatstaycool #staysafethissummer #itshotoutthere #heatsafety

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