The sun is out and people across the country are spending more and more time outside. But with the summer heat, comes the danger of severe sunburn, heat exhaustion, and hyperthermia (heat stroke).
Since last week was the official start of summer with the first heat wave the season, record-breaking temperatures have closed schools and have sent many people seeking refuge. Across the nation, the scalding heat broke a total of 47 record highs. From Maine to New York City analysis of temperature increases over the past 100 years. Rhode Island followed by Massachusetts, New Jersey, Arizona and Maine saw the highest temperature increase.
Today’s record-setting heat is brutal, the AP reports nine people dead and more than 2 million without power, temperatures from St. Louis to Washington, D.C. hit triple-digits and the misery’s not letting up, but the National Weather Service is predicting another scorcher coming for the middle of Mississippi Valley to the Mid-Atlantic Coast today June 30th.
Currently, there is a Heat Advisory that remains in effect until 7pm tonight, this heat wave is determined to be Hazards and potentially dangerous with a heat index in the Mid 90’s.
To reduce the risk while being outdoors taking breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments can help especially those who are sensitive to heat stress. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, remember to wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.
Things to remember during a Heat Advisory:
- Never leave children, pets, or those who require special care in a parked car during periods of intense summer heat. Fans work best at night, when they can bring in cooler air from outside.
- If you do not have an air conditioner, keep rooms well-ventilated with open windows and fans. Cool showers or baths may be helpful, but avoid extreme temperature changes.
- Never take a shower immediately after becoming overheated – extreme temperature changes may make you ill, nauseated, or dizzy.
People with heart, kidney or liver disease, or on fluid restricted diets should check with their doctors before increasing fluid intake
Most dangerous heat-related illnesses:
- Heat Cramps: are spasms a muscular pain that usually happens in the leg or stomach muscle area that is triggered by heavy exertion during extreme heat. If the pain is severe or nausea occurs seek medical attention.
- Heat Exhaustion: This is when the fluids in the body are lost by heavy sweating due to vigorous exercise or working out in hot, humid places. The blood flow to vital organs tend to decrease causing symptoms like pale and clammy skin, fatigue, headache, dizziness, shallow breathing and weak pulse, this can be treated with a rest in a cool area, sipping water or electrolyte solution, applying a cool wet cloth and elevating the feet. If basic treatment has no responds seek medical attention.
- Heat Stroke also called “sunstroke”: The skin is flushed with the body temperature elevated which can cause brain damage and death if the body is not cooled quickly, the person may also appear confused, develop seizures, breath shallowly. This is the most serious heat-related illness and people exhibiting its symptoms should seek emergency medical attention.
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