Staying Safe When the Summer Heat is On

Staying Safe When the Summer Heat is On

Tips for keeping yourself cool and a reminder to check on those you know without air conditioning.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Temperatures topping out near 100 in Arkansas this week can be dangerous if people don't follow some reminders about keeping cool.

“Excessive heat can be deadly; it has caused more deaths in recent years than all other weather events,” says American Red Cross in Arkansas Communications Information Officer, Brigette Williams. “The National Weather Service has already placed Crawford, Sebastian and Franklin Counties under excessive heat warnings through Friday night. We want everyone to stay safe during this warning period as well as the rest of the summer.”

Red Cross Summer Heat Safety Tips

  • Stay hydrated, drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors which absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.
  • If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should choose places to go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).
“We also recommend downloading the Red Cross first aid app which has a lot of useful health and safety tips and videos including symptoms of heat related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” stated Williams.

Heat-related illnesses to watch out for:

Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

If someone is experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, get them to a cooler place, have them rest, lightly stretch the affected muscle, and replenish their fluids with a half a glass (about 4 ounces) of cool water every 15 minutes. 

If someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion (cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness exhaustion), move them to a cooler place, remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If they are conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

Signs include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting and high body temperature. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.
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