Summer Heat Safety Tips

POSTED: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - 4:04pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - 4:12pm

EL PASO – Anyone can be affected by the heat of the summer sun, with triple digit temperatures being forecast for the El Paso area, fire officials are urging the public to take the necessary precautions to avoid becoming a victim of the heat.

 Those most at risk of heat related illnesses are people over 65, the very young, people with blood pressure problems, diabetes, heart disease, malnutrition and those taking certain medications. The risk is especially high when air conditioning is unavailable for long periods of time.

The El Paso Fire Department offers the following Summer Heat Safety Tips:
Heat Exhaustion is a warning that the body is getting too hot.
Heat Stroke: Body organs start to overheat. A heat stroke can result in death.

Signs & Symptoms
For a Heat Stroke:
These signs and symptoms can occur suddenly with little warning:
• Very high temperature.
• Hot, dry, red skin. No sweating.
• Deep breathing and fast pulse. Then shallow breathing and weak pulse.
• Confusion. Hallucinations.
• Convulsions.
• Loss of consciousness.

For Heat Exhaustion:
• Normal, low, or only slightly elevated body temperature.
• Cool, clammy, pale skin. Sweating.
• Dry mouth. Thirst.
• Fatigue. Weakness. Feeling dizzy.
• Headache.
• Nausea. Vomiting can occur.
• Muscle cramps.
Self-Care / First Aid

First Aid for a Heat Stroke
• Call 9-1-1!
• Move the person to a cool place indoors or under a shady tree.
• Remove clothing. Fan the person.
• Don't give fever reducing medicine.
• Don't use rubbing alcohol.
First Aid for Heat Exhaustion
• Move to a cool place indoors or in the shade.
• Loosen clothing.
• Drink fluids, such as cool or cold water. drink sport drinks, such as Gatorade, etc.

Prevention of Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
• Drink lots of liquids, water, sport drinks, such as Gatorade, etc.
• Do not stay in or leave anyone in a closed, parked car during hot weather.
• Keep your body hydrated by drinking 8oz of cool water every 15 -20 minutes.

• Don't have drinks with alcohol or caffeine.
• Use caution when you are in the sun. At the first sign of heat exhaustion, get out of the sun.
• Perform the most stressful job in the cooler part of the day if possible
• Wear light, loose-fitting clothing, such as cotton, so sweat can evaporate. Wear a wide-brimmed hat with vents. Use an umbrella for shade.
• If you feel hot, try to cool off. Open a window. Use a fan. Go to an air-conditioned place.
• Check with your doctor about sun exposure if you take:
             • Water pills.
             • Mood-altering medicines.
             • Some antibiotics

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