Tips to stay safe during the extreme heat

WICHITA, Kansas – The peak of summer is nearly here and research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that our hottest days are between July 21-25, so with a mini heat wave coming through, what can you do to stay safe and hydrated? Here are a few tips:

  • Spend time in locations with air-conditioning.
  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids. Good choices are water and diluted sport drinks, unless told otherwise by your doctor.
  • Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
  • Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing hats with brims and sunscreen

Drinking water isn’t the only way to stay hydrated. There are also many fruits and vegetables that are high in water content that can also be hydrating and refreshing. Some examples include: cucumbers, papaya, strawberries, butternut squash, grape tomatoes, and celery.

Additionally, with the heat comes risks of heat related illnesses. People suffering from heat-related illnesses may experience heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, and clammy skin; fast, weak pulse; and nausea or vomiting. Early signs include muscle cramps, heat rash and fainting or near-fainting spells. If you believe someone is suffering from a heat-related illness, they need to move to a cooler location and lie down; apply cool, wet cloths to the body; and sip non-alcoholic fluids. They should remain in the cool location until recovered.

Signs that someone might be suffering from the most severe heat-related illness, heat stroke, include a body temperature above 103 degrees Fahrenheit; hot, red, dry or moist skin; rapid and strong pulse; and “altered mental status” that can range from confusion and agitation to possible unconsciousness. If you see someone exhibiting these signs, call 911 immediately; help the person move to a cooler environment; reduce the person’s body temperature with cool cloths soaked in ice water especially to head, neck, arm pits and upper legs near the groin area where combined 70 percent of body heat can be lost, or even a cool bath if you can stay with them to ensure they do not drown; and do not give them fluids.

 

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