Friday, June 1, 2012

Tips from the Red Cross to Beat the Heat!

It's summer. No doubt that means some HOT days so take a look at these tips from the Red Cross and be safe!

Heat Index

Prepare for the heat:

•Listen to local weather forecasts and stay aware of upcoming temperature changes.
•Know what a Heat Index Is: The heat index is the temperature the body feels when the effects of heat and humidity are combined. Exposure to direct sunlight can increase the heat index by as much as 15° F.
•Discuss heat safety precautions with members of your household. Have a plan for wherever you spend time—
•home, work and school—and prepare for the possibility of power outages.
•Check the contents of your emergency preparedness kit in case a power outage occurs.
•Know those in your neighborhood who are elderly, young, sick or overweight. They are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help.
•If you do not have air conditioning, choose places you could go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).
•Ensure that your animals’ needs for water and shade are met.

Safety during a heat wave:

•Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
•Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty.
•Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
•Eat small meals and eat more often.
•Avoid extreme temperature changes.
•Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
•Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
•Postpone outdoor games and activities.
•Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
•Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.
Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
•Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.

Know the signs of heat related emergencies:

•Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen caused by exposure to high heat and humidity and loss of fluids and electrolytes. Heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat.
•Heat exhaustion typically involves the loss of body fluids through heavy sweating during strenuous exercise or physical labor in high heat and humidity.
•Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion.
•Move the person to a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition.
•Heat stroke (also known as sunstroke) is a life-threatening condition in which a person’s temperature control system stops working and the body is unable to cool itself.
•Signs of heat stroke include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting; and high body temperature.
Heat stroke is life-threatening. Call 9-1-1

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