Heat Health & Safety Alert

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Earlier I wrote that summer is waning, however we all know this does not effect the weather right away, especially those “Indian Summers” we sometimes get late into Autumn.

All week the northeast has been breaking some high temperature and humidity records.

It is just too hot.

So, what are you to do to keep yourself and your family safe? Here is some useful information gathered from OPWDD and NOAA.

Heat related illnesses and deaths are preventable. If the temperature is above 80 degrees fahrenhiet or 27 degrees celsius, take care.

In 2008, 50,000 people died in Europe due to heat related illnesses.

Don’t shrug this one off. The elderly, the very young, people with acute or chronic illnesses, those with impaired ability to regulate body temperature, those with cognitive impairments, and people taking certain photo-toxic medications are especially suseptible. Sunburn also increases your chances for debilitated health.

“Healthy and fit” people too have to worry. If you aren’t drinking enough water, and are drinking too much alcohol and caffeine combined with excessive physical activity, you could be risking alot more than just your afternoon.

Take precautions.

“Be aware of the heat, and modify or reschedule outdoor activities accordingly.
Stay in air condotioned areas whenever possible and stay in the shade when outdoors.
Apply sunscreen whether or not it is cloudy or you’re staying in the shade.
Drink and encourage plenty of fluids, limit caffeine, and eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals.
Wear loose fitting, lightweight, and light-coloured clothing. (*Gives more reasons to wear my favourite linen and sun-hat.)
Be aware that fans do not provide cooling, they only move hot air around.”

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat stroke.

For heat exhaustion, listen to your body. Signs and symptoms may include: heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache, fainting, nausea, vomiting. A pulse that is gast and weak and breathing that is fast and shallow.

Heat exhaustion is dangerous & Heat stroke is a medical emergency! Call your EMS, 911, STAT. When your body temp rises too high it can lead to vital organ damage and even death.

Signs and symptoms of heat stroke are: a high temp. over 103 degrees F. Or 40 degrees C.
Red, hot, dry skin and absence of sweating, rapid, strong pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea or vomiting.

If heat exhaustion or stroke is suspected, call EMS immediately. Get yourself or the person to a cool, shady area, and attempt to cool them down with cool water applied to wrists, neck and armpits. Give fluids if they are alert and can swallow, *although if heat stroke is suspected do not give water by mouth.*

Be careful out there dear sweet ones. Remember, rest, drink lots of fluids, wear light clothing, and eat light meals.

Namaste.

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