For much of the country, the arrival of summer, officially at 7:09 PM on Wednesday, was anything but subtle. In many areas the heat index (temperature plus humidity) was well over 100. For many people this level of heat can rapidly lead to true health emergencies. This is true for everyone but especially the very young or old, those with certain health conditions and your pets. Here are some keys to help assure you survive and have a safety and healthy summer:
- Never leave a child or pet in a car when you leave. Even running cars can stall and doors can become locked. Temperatures can reach FATAL level within minutes. Don’t do it- ever not even for just a minute. If you encounter a child or pet locked in a vehicle- don’t hesitate to call 911.
- Drink plenty of fluids- before you are thirsty.
- Stay in the air conditioning/shade when possible.
- Wear sunscreen and replenish often. Recent headlines suggest there is no such thing as a truly waterproof sunscreen.
Look for the signs of the affects of heat- these may include the following. Remember it is not necessary for all these to be present to suggest a problem.
- Flushed, pale skin
- Rapid pulse
- Profuse sweating.
- If you are someone else is sweating and the sweating stops this may be a sign of a serious life threatening condition known as heat stroke. Call 911!
If any of the above are present the first rule is get out of the heat move into the shade- air conditioning is better.
Drink cool fluids- ice cold may enhance nausea.
Ice and wet towels may be applied to the skin. Areas where arteries are close to the skin may result in faster cooling.
If you are affected by the heat- you are done for the day- don’t try to rest up and go back out. Your body can succumb much quicker a second time. You need time to recuperate.
As this is now summer and pools are open- remember pool safety and making sure your pool is child proof. That water looks like a sure relieve from the heat- not for young kids and never alone.