The Wicked Witch of the West is not the only one melting these days. Unfortunately, many of us not only feel that way, but we have also lost our sense of humor about the heat wave that has hit our area. Safety and Risk Management would like to remind everyone that even though we won’t literally melt, there are still some very real dangers associated with high temps. Heat-related illnesses are serious, but luckily they are also preventable.
The CDC has broken it down into three easily managed pieces: Stay Cool, Stay Hydrated, Stay Informed.
Staying cool might be as simple as staying indoors. If you must be out, wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- Wear sunscreen to prevent sunburn, which can affect your ability to cool down.
- Take frequent breaks.
- Eat light because heavy meals add heat to your body.
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink.
- Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks because they can actually cause you to lose more body fluid.
- Check for updates from your local news. They will know if special advisories or shelters are opened.
- Stay connected with others—especially those at higher risk of heat illnesses like infants and young children, people 65 or older, people who are ill, take certain medications or who have existing medical conditions like obesity, heart disease, or high blood pressure.
Learn the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses:
- High body temperature (103°F or higher)
- Fast pulse
- Heavy sweating
- Muscle cramps
- Fainting or losing consciousness for even a moment
Know what to do.
- If you experience any of the symptoms above, stop activity and head indoors.
- Take a cool bath or shower.
- Sip water.
- If you begin to throw up or have symptoms for longer than an hour after you go inside, seek medical help right away.
In short, this heat feels oppressive, but by following the path (yellow brick road) laid out by the CDC, we can all stay safe and healthy in the heat.
Safety and Risk Management – 423-425-5741