Deadly Duo: Heat and Humidity

Keep cool with these tips from the American Red Cross

According to the National Weather Service, heat causes more fatalities each year than lightning, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes – combined. 

Sunburn, heat cramps, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion are all possible results from excessive heat. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol in order to avoid any problems.

Steps to be safe during the heat:

  • Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles, could be fatal  
  • Eat small meals and eat more often.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  • 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. Ensure they have water and a shady place to rest.


Heat Cramps:

If someone is suffering from heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, they should be brought to a cool area to rest. Stretch the affected muscle lightly, and replenish their fluids with half a glass of cool water every 15 minutes. 

Heat Exhaustion:

When someone shows signs of heat exhaustion (cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness exhaustion), move them to a cooler area, remove or loosen form-fitting clothing. Also, apply wet and cool cloths or towels to the skin and fan the person with cool air. If the person is awake, provide them with some cool water to drink and advise them to drinks slowly. Watch for changes in the persons physical condition. If the person refuses water, vomits, or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

Heat Stroke: 

A heat stroke can be life-threatening. Signs of heat stroke include red, hot skin which can be dry or moist, changes in consciousness, vomiting, and fever. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately and move the person to a cooler area. Cool down the person’s body as quickly as possible by caring for the person as if they had heat exhaustion.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.


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