Staying Safe in the Heat

The days are getting longer, and even more so, they’re getting hot. With forecasts showing temperatures in the 90’s, it’s good to keep safety in mind.

First and foremost, practice preventative measures to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. If you plan on going outside, remember to wear sunscreen — the higher the SPF the better, stay well hydrated, and take plenty of breaks during activities. Health officials also recommend planning strenuous activities before 11 a.m. or after 7 p.m. when possible. 

Protection from the heat also means checking on people you know who are more vulnerable to heat, especially anyone who doesn’t have air conditioning at home. Vulnerable groups include elderly people, children, chronically ill people, and pregnant people. If you fall within one of these categories, be aware of how you’re feeling in the heat and take extra precautions to stay safe.  

Of course the warm weather is a great time to be outside and have fun, but it’s important to stay safe as well. While you’re enjoying the outdoors with your family and friends, know what to look out for in the event of heat stroke or exhaustion. 

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include dizziness, excessive sweating, cool clammy skin, nausea or vomiting, a rapid weak pulse, and muscle cramps. Heat exhaustion is fairly easy to remedy as long as the reaction is swift. The symptoms can be remedied by drinking lots of water, finding shade, and cooling off as much as possible.  

Signs of heat stroke include throbbing headache, lack of sweating, a body temperature of 103+, hot dry skin, nausea or vomiting, a rapid strong pulse, and in extreme cases, loss of consciousness. Heat stroke is far more serious than heat exhaustion, and warrants calling 9-1-1 before cooling off and hydrating as much as possible while paramedics are en route.  

More information about heat safety and resources can be found here. Enjoy the warm weather, and stay safe. 

By Ardea C. Eichner 

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