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Heat Safety Tips:

Heat-related illness can cause serious injury and even death if unattended.

Signs of heat-related illness include

  • nausea,
  • dizziness,
  • flushed or pale skin,
  • heavy sweating and 
  • headaches.
Victims of heat-related illness should be
  • moved to a cool place,
  • given cool water to drink and 
  • ice packs or cool wet cloths should be applied to the skin.
If a victim refuses water, vomits or loses consciousness, call local emergency number immediately.

Safety Tips:

  • Dress for the heat: wear lightweight, light coloured clothing.  It is good to wear had or use umbrella.
  • Drink water: Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty.  Avoid alcohol and caffeine.  Avoid using salt tablets unless directed by a physician.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often: Avoid high-protein foods, which increase metabolic heat.
  • Slow down.  Avoid strenuous activity:  If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which usually in the morning between 4 and 7 am.
  • Stay indoors when possible: If air-conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.  Remember the electric fans do not cool, they simply circulate the air.
  • Learn First Aid and CPR.

Heat Cramps:

Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion.  That is the early signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.

Heat Exhaustion:

Heat exhaustion typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating.  Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs.  This results in a form of mild shock.  If not treated, the victim may suffer heat stroke.

Signals of heat exhaustion include

  • cool, moist, pale flushed or red skin,
  • heavy sweating,
  • headache,
  • nausea or vomiting, 
  • dizziness, and
  • exhaustion.  Body temperature will be bear normal.

General Care:

  • Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position.
  • If the person is fully awake and alert, give half a glass of cool water every 15 minutes.  Do not let him or her drink too quickly.  Do not give liquids that contain alcohol or caffeine.
  • Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet clothes, such as towels or sheets.
  • Call emergency service if the person refuses water, vomits or loses consciousness.

Heat Stroke:

Also known as sunstroke, heat stroke is life threatening.  The victim’s temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working.  The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly.

Signals include:

  • hot, red and dry skin,
  • changes in consciousness,
  • rapid, weak pulse,
  • rapid, shallow breathing,
  • Body temperature can be very high-sometimes as high as 105 degrees.

General Care:

  • Help is needed fast. Call local emergency service.
  • Move the person to a cooler place.
  • Quickly cool the body.  Immerse victim in a cool bath, or wrap wet sheets around the body and fan it.
  • Watch for signals of breathing problems.
  • Keep the person lying down and continue to cool the body any way you can.
  • If the victim refuses water or is vomiting or there are changes in the level of consciousness, do not give anything to eat or drink.

Source: American Red Cross.


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