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High Heat

Heat wave is common in our part of the United States. Some common terminologies heard during this time of year and in the middle of a "heat wave" are:

Sweltering humidity - when the humidity along with the temperature is very high. This can be very dangerous when working outside.

Excessively dry condition - when little or no rain has been received or is forecast. Windy conditions can make things worse.

Heat index - this is your body's "best guess" on the temperature. It is based on the real temperature and the moisture present in the air. The higher the humidity the hotter your body thinks it is.

When It's Hot

Here are list of things you can do to beat the heat and stay safe when the temperature rises:

  • Stay indoors and avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • If you do not have air conditioning available, stay indoors on the lowest floor.
  • Keep electric fan going.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Do not eat big meals. Keep meals small and frequent.
  • Keep the pets inside and make sure they have plenty of water.
  • When outside, wear lightweight and light colored clothing.
  • Go slow and if you have to work outside, do it very early in the morning.
  • Use lots of sunscreen and wear a hat when outside.
  • After coming inside, continue to drink lots of fluids.
  • Never take a cool shower immediately after coming inside from the heat. This may cool your body temperature down too quickly and cause dizziness and nausea.
In An Emergency

If a heat related emergency occurs, first identify all symptoms and then take the appropriate steps:

Heat Cramps

Symptoms: muscle pains, spasms
Treatment: gently massage muscles, drink small sips of water.

Heat Exhaustion

Symptoms: heavy sweating, weakness, cold and clammy skin, weak pulse, fainting and vomiting. If not treated the condition can worsen and lead to heat stroke.
Treatment: seek rest in a cool place, apply cool wet cloths, sip water. If vomiting occurs seek medical attention.

Heat Stroke (Sunstroke)

Symptoms: cannot sweat, body temperature begins to rise. If the body temperature becomes too high it can lead to brain damage. This can take as little as ten minutes.
Treatment: call 911 immediately. Remove clothing and sponge bathe with cool water. Do not give fluids.