Summer is Here! Hotter than Ever!
Heat related emergencies are common and life threatening no matter where you live. But here in Arizona “it’s a dry heat’ really means something. You can become dehydrated very quickly. Here are a few tips to help you cope with the Arizona sun:
- Always drink plenty of water. Carry water with you on outings, even if you are just going grocery shopping.
- Dress cool! Light colored clothing will reflect the sun and heat. Wear a hat or use an umbrella to shade yourself.
- Plan outside activities in the cooler part of the day (4am to 7am) or in the evening after the sun goes down.
Heat Related Emergencies:
- Thirst:By the time your body tells you that you are thirsty, you are already mildly dehydrated.
- Heat cramps:Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. They usually involve the abdominal muscles or the legs. The loss of water and salt from heavy sweating causes heat cramps.
- Heat Exhaustion: Signs include cool, moist, pale, flushed or red skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and exhaustion. Body temperature will be near normal.
Heat Stroke is life-threatening. The victim’s temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. Body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly. Signs include hot, red and dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing, nausea, vomiting, headache, and confusion. Body temperature can be very high—sometimes as high as 105° F.
Care for Heat Stroke: Call 911 Immediately!
Move the person to a cool place if possible and have them lie down. Give small sips of water, apply cool wet cloths or or ice packs to arms, wrists, ankles, armpits or neck to cool the person off fast. Use a fan or make a hand fan out of a newspaper or paper plate.
Each year the number of hospital admissions due to heat related emergencies grows. Let’s all do our part to keep these numbers down!