Summer Heat Safety Tips

Summer is here and along with it come hot and humid conditions.  Heat waves, and even exposure to high temperatures for a short time, can be very dangerous.  Below are some tips to help you identify the signs of dehydration, heatstroke, and heat exhaustion, which can be life-threatening. 

We would like to remind everyone to dial 911 at the first sign of a medical emergency.  In addition, it is advisable to check on family, friends and neighbors, especially if they are senior citizens.

Signs & Symptoms:

Heat Exhaustion

 

  • Severe thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramps
  • Aches
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Increased sweating
  • Cool, clammy skin
  • Elevation of body temperature to 105 degrees Fahrenheit or higher

How Heatstroke Can Be Prevented

 

  • Drink plenty of fluids during outdoor activities; water and sports drinks are preferred; tea, coffee, soda and alcohol should be avoided
  • Wear lightweight, tightly woven, loose-fitting clothing in light colors
  • Schedule vigorous activity and sports for cooler times of the day
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat, sunglasses and using an umbrella
  • Increase time spent outdoors gradually get your body used to the heat
  • During outdoor activities, take frequent drink breaks and mist yourself with a spray bottle to avoid becoming overheated
  • Try to spend as much time indoors as possible on very hot humid days

How to treat Heatstroke and Heat Exhaustion

 

  • Bring the person indoors, or into the shade immediately
  • Remove their clothing, and gently apply cool water to the skin followed by fanning to stimulate sweating
  • Apply ice packs to the groin and armpits
  • Have the person lie down in a cool area with their feet slightly elevated

Heat Stroke

 

  • Severe throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Disorientation, agitation or confusion
  • Sluggishness or fatigue
  • Seizure
  • Hot, dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty
  • A high body temperature
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Hallucinations

How Heatstroke Can Be Prevented

 

  • Drink plenty of fluids during outdoor activities; water and sports drinks are preferred; tea, coffee, soda and alcohol should be avoided
  • Wear lightweight, tightly woven, loose-fitting clothing in light colors
  • Schedule vigorous activity and sports for cooler times of the day
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat, sunglasses and using an umbrella
  • Increase time spent outdoors gradually get your body used to the heat
  • During outdoor activities, take frequent drink breaks and mist yourself with a spray bottle to avoid becoming overheated
  • Try to spend as much time indoors as possible on very hot humid days

 Dehydration

 

  • Thirst
  • Less-frequent urination
  • Dry skin
  • Fatigue
  • Light-headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Dry mouth and mucous membranes
  • Increased heart rate and breathing
  • In children, additional symptoms may include dry mouth and tongue; no tears when crying; no wet diapers for more than 3 hours; sunken abdomen, eyes or cheeks; high fever; listlessness; irritability; skin that does not flatten when pinched and released.

How Dehydration Can Be Prevented

 

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially when working or playing in the sun
  • Make sure you are taking in more fluid than you are losing
  • Drink appropriate sports drinks to help maintain electrolyte balance
  • Infants and children should be given Pedialyte to maintain their electrolyte balance