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Information & Caregiver Resource Corner

Stay safe during days of extreme heat this summer

It’s summertime, and with that comes heat-related illnesses and heat emergencies.  

Extreme-heat emergencies are caused by exposure to extreme heat and sun. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable. Despite this fact, more than 600 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year.”

Q: What can you do to avoid extreme heat emergencies?

A: First, it is important to know that there are some people who are more at risk of developing a heat-related illness than others.
  • Older adults (age 65+)
  • People with chronic medical conditions
  • Outdoor workers
  • Infants and children
  • Low-income households
  • Athletes

Don’t forget pets are also at risk.

Second, know the different types of heat related illnesses and learn the symptoms and what to do if you show signs of having a heat-related illness.  

man 1464787If you go outside in extreme heat, pacing yourself, staying hydrated, and wearing light, protective clothing and sunscreen can help you to stay safe.Here are two heat related illnesses, their symptoms and what to do:

Heat stroke

Symptoms:

  • Hot red, dry or damp skin
  • Fast strong pulse
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Passing out

What to do:

  • Call 911
  • Move the person to a cooler place
  • Apply cool cloths
  • Do not give the person anything to drink
Heat exhaustion

Symptoms:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, pale and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Passing out

What to do:

  • Move to a cool place
  • Loosen your clothes
  • Put on cool, wet clothes
  • Sip water

Other heat related illnesses include heat cramps, sunburn and heat rash.

Third, here are some tips for preventing a heat related illness.  
  • Keep cool
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Pace yourself
  • Stay cool indoors
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully

Don’t forget to check on those at risk.

To learn more about LifePath and the programs available, contact us, and remember: a resource consultant at LifePath can provide resource information on this and many other topics.  

The best defense against extreme heat is to be prepared.