During the heat wave in Europe during 2003, a total of 50,000 people died. Here in the United States the numbers have not been so astronomical but they are worth noting that in 1980 the human lives lost totaled 1,280 and in 1980 there were 700 deaths.
Heat exhaustion happens when your body is losing salt through excessive sweating or just plain salt depletion.
• Heat cramps are what teens get, painful cramps or stitches in stomach or legs, with heavy sweating and sometimes nausea. Give sips of water to recover if nausea is not present.
• Heat exhaustion happens in middle age, heavy sweating, pale, cold, clammy skin, fainting and vomiting, pulse that increases and decreases but may have a temperature that is normal. Get victim out of the sun, apply cool cloths and loosen clothing, use fans or air-conditioning to cool, take sips of water and seek medical attention.
• And in seniors its called heat stroke, it is a severe medical emergency and you must seek medical attention as it can cause brain damage- hot dry skin, temperature of 106 degrees or higher, strong pulse, unconsciousness. Remove victim from heat carefully into a fan or air-conditioning, loosen or remove clothing, sponge baths or cool cloths while you are waiting for emergency staff. Do not give fluids.
• A sunburn reduces your body’s ability to rid itself of excess hea and recoveryt. When the largets organ of your body, the skin, is damaged from the sun it is not able to function properly.
Heat wave advisories
Excessive heat is any heat that lasts more than three to seven days. A heat watch is released when the weather is capable of producing excessive heat, but exactly when it will occur is unsure usually 24 to 72 hours. A heat warning or advisory is released when a heat wave is iminent or occurring for the next 36 hours, meaning conditions can cause threats to your body or your property.
Make sure children are out of the car
The heat doesn’t have to be excessive outside in order for a child to die inside a car. One man who left his child in the car while visiting friends on an outside temperature of 81 degrees lost his child in just an hour-and-a-half time. The inside of a car easily reaches 180-200 degrees in a short amount of time due to the conductive nature of the sun’s rays on the dashboard and the car seats, these rays cause ultraviolet radiation that heats the air inside of a car in a short amount of time. Do not let children play in cars or around them. If you are stressed and running a tight schedule with kids or babies, make a sign and put it on your steering wheel or dashboard, and leave it there at all times.
Heat wave tips
1. Dress for the heat-lightweight, light colors.
2. Eat lighter- no heavy meats or in large portions so your body has an easier time digesting and can use it’s energy for cooling instead. Popsicles and salads or simple sandwiches make for lighter fair.
3. Slow down-reduce activity level and do not do any strenous activity except in the cool of the morning time.
4. No alcohol or caffeinated beverages-they put stress on the heart and speed up the heart causing additional stress to your body that is already stressed out from the heat. Drink additional fluids to cool off your body, do not increase your salt intake or take salt tablets without checking with your doctor first.