Staying Safe in the Summer Heat
We are right in the middle of summer in the Pacific Northwest, and in comparison to past years it has been pretty mild. However, since this looks to be one of the hottest weeks we have had so far in 2016, it is important to remember to be safe in the sun and heat, especially for outdoor activities and summer vacations.
One of the most important heat safety tips is to stay hydrated, drinking plenty of fluids. Other tips include:
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing
- Slow down and stay indoors
- Check on family, friends and neighbors who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be impacted by the heat (this would include seniors, who may be more impacted than others)
- If you have animals, check on them frequently and make sure that they have plenty of cool water
Out in the Sun
- If you’re going to be having fun in the sun be sure to seek shade, put on sunscreen, and wear clothing that can protect from the sun (i.e. wide-brimmed hat, longer sleeved shirt)
- If you’re going to be swimming it is important to remember to avoid swallowing the water if you can, keep an eye on children, and to avoid swimming alone or in unsupervised locations.
Common Heat Disorders
- Heat Exhaustion: Symptoms include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, and weakness. If someone is experiencing these symptoms it is important to get them to a cooler place and cool the person down by applying cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin, and you can also fan the person. If the person vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1.
- Heat Stroke: Symptoms include hot, red skin, changes in consciousness, vomiting, and high body temperature. If someone exhibits these symptoms call 9-1-1 immediately and cool them down as quickly as you can.
For more information about heat safety and common heat disorders, check out http://www.redcross.org/news/article/Red-Cross-How-to-Stay-Safe-in-Hot-Weather