Two Rivers: Staying safe in the heat

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Stay Cool

  • Wear appropriate clothing: choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
  • Stay cool indoors: stay in air-conditioning as much as possible, seek out a building with air conditioning if you don’t have access
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully: try to limit outdoor time to the morning and evening when the temperatures are likely to be the coolest; rest in the shade
  • Pace yourself: try to limit exercise during the heat, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or into the shade and rest especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak or faint.
  • Wear sunscreen: and try to include a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, etc. Make sure the sunscreen is SPF 15 or higher and apply it 30 minutes prior to outdoor activity and reapply according to the label directions
  • Never leave children, infants, or pets in vehicles even with windows cracked open.
  • Avoid hot and heavy meals as they add heat to your body

Stay Hydrated

  • Drink plenty of fluids: drink more fluids regardless of activity levels. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink. Avoid very sugary or alcoholic drinks as they actually cause you to lose more body fluid and be careful with very cold drinks as they can cause stomach cramps.
  • Replace salt and minerals: heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body that need to be replaced. A sports drink can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. (If you’re on a low-salt diet, have diabetes, high blood pressure, or other chronic conditions talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets.
  • Keep your pets hydrated and leave water in a shady area when they are outside.
  • Stay Informed
  • Monitor your local news and forecasts for extreme heat alerts
  • Use a buddy system when working in the heat, monitor their condition and they monitor your condition. Check on relatives, friends, and neighbors age 65 or older twice a day if possible.
  • Monitor the people at risk, which can be anyone, but the following people are at the greatest risk: infants and young children, people 65 years of age or older, people who are overweight, people who overexert, people who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation.

HEAT STROKE

What To Look For:

  • High body temperature (103+)
  • Hot, red, dry, or damp skin
  • Fast, strong pulse
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Losing consciousness (passing out)

What To Do:

  • Call 911
  • Move the person to a cooler place
  • Help lower the person’s temperature with cool cloths
  • Do NOT give the person anything to drink

HEAT EXHAUSTION

What To Look For:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fainting (passing out)

What To Do:

  • Move to a cool place
  • Loosen clothing
  • Cool wet cloths or take a cool bath
  • Sip water

Get medical help right away if:

  • You are throwing up
  • Your symptoms get worse
  • Your symptoms last longer than 1 hour

For more information call Two Rivers Public Health Department at (308) 995-4778 and visit our website www.trphd.org for more information. You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@trpublichealth).

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