Extreme Heat Precautions

July 20th, 2011 by mike Leave a reply »


July 20, 2011, Inez, KY — The Martin County Health Department is urging the public to take the following precautions to avoid injury and illness during this period of extreme heat:

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Increase your daily fluid intake regardless of your activity level. You will need to drink more fluids than your thirst level indicates. This is especially true for people age 65 or older who often have a decreased ability to respond to external temperature changes. In addition, avoid drinking beverages containing alcohol because they will actually cause you to lose more fluid.
  • Wear proper clothing and sunscreen. Choose lightweight, light colored, loose fitting clothing. In the hot sun, wear a wide-brimmed hat that will provide shade and keep the head cool. Sunscreen should be SPF 15 or greater and applied 30 minutes before going out into the sun.
  • Stay cool indoors. The best way to stay cool is in an air-conditioned area. If you do not have an air conditioner, consider visiting a mall or public library. Check with local authorities for local cooling stations that may be available in your area.
  • Don’t leave children or pets inside a vehicle. Lock all unattended vehicles so children can’t enter them. Immediately dial 911 if you see an unattended child in a car.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully. If you must be out in the heat, plan your activities so that you are outdoors either before noon or in the evening. Rest periodically so your body’s thermostat will have a chance to recover.
  • Use a buddy system. When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness.
  • Monitor those at high risk. Those at greatest risk of heat-related illness include infants and children up to 4 years of age, people 65 years of age or older, those who are ill or on certain medications for blood pressure or diuretics, overweight individuals and those who overexert during work or exercise.

Signs of heat-related illnesses include a very high body temperature (above 103°F); red, hot and dry skin (no sweating); rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; muscle cramps; tiredness and unconsciousness. If someone starts to experience these symptoms, seek medical help immediately and move them to a shady spot. If outdoors, begin cooling them using whatever methods are available. Monitor body temperature, and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102°F.


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