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The original item was published from 8/22/2023 12:30:00 PM to 9/15/2023 2:26:43 PM.

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Health

Posted on: July 25, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Staying Safe During Extreme Heat

A thermometer in the sun.

It is important to take care of yourself, family, friends, and pets during times of extreme heat! Here are some tips to stay safe and beat the heat:

  • Never leave people or pets in a parked car – even briefly.  Temperatures in a car can become life threatening within minutes. On an 80-degree day with sunshine, the temperature inside a car, even with the windows cracked slightly, can rise 20 to 30 degrees above the outside temperature in 10 to 20 minutes.    
  • Keep your living space cool. If you have an air conditioner, use it. Cover windows to keep the sun from shining in. If you don’t have an air conditioner, consider going to a community cooling center (options listed below). If you stay at home, open windows to let air circulate. At extreme high temperatures, a fan loses its ability to effectively reduce heat-related illness. When it’s hotter than 95 degrees, use fans to blow hot air out of the window rather than to blow hot air on your body.   
  • Slow down and limit outdoor physical activity. Plan outings or activities that require physical exertion for the early morning or after dark when temperatures are cooler.
  • Drink plenty of water and eat lightly. Don’t wait for thirst. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid alcohol or caffeine and stay away from hot, heavy meals.  
  • Don’t stop taking medication unless your doctor says you should. Take extra care to stay cool and ask your doctor or pharmacist for any special heat advice.
  • Taking a cool shower or bath will cool you down. A shower or bath will actually work faster than an air conditioner. Applying cold wet rags to the neck, head and limbs also cools down the body quickly.
  • If you are outside, wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Add a hat or umbrella to keep your head cool…and don’t forget sunscreen!
  • Avoid Sunburns. They can significantly slow the skin’s ability to release excess heat.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness

Heat Exhaustion 

Symptoms:

  • Heavy sweating 
  • Weakness 
  • Skin cold, pale, and clammy 
  • Weak pulse 
  • Fainting and vomiting 

 What You Should Do:

  • Move to a cooler location. 
  • Lie down and loosen your clothing. 
  • Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible. 
  • Sip water. 
  • If you have vomited and it continues, seek medical attention immediately.

Heat Stroke 

Symptoms:

  • High body temperature (above 103°F) 
  • Throbbing headache
  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin 
  • Rapid and strong pulse 
  • Possible unconsciousness 

What You Should Do:

  • Call 911 immediately.
  • Move the person to a cooler environment. 
  • Reduce the person's body temperature with cool cloths or even a bath. 
  • Do not give fluids.

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