News

Red Cross NH issues tips to stay safe as temperatures rise

Friday, July 5, 2013

CONCORD – Summer is here, bringing with it dangerous heat. The American Red Cross has steps people can follow to stay safe as the temperatures soar.

“Excessive heat can be deadly; it has caused more deaths in recent years than all other weather events,” said Maria White, CEO of the American Red Cross of New Hampshire. “We want everyone to stay safe during the hot weather, and have some reminders for them to follow when the weather is hot and humid.”

One tip is to never leave children or pets in a car. The inside temperature of a vehicle can quickly reach 120 degrees.

Here are some other tips worth looking over:

• Make sure to drink plenty of fluids.

• Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.

• Avoid extreme temperature changes.

• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing (avoid dark colors, because they absorb the sun’s rays.)

• During the hottest part of the day, slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise.

• Postpone outdoor games and activities.

• Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.

• Check on family, friends and neighbors who don’t have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.

• If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should choose places to go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day, such as schools, libraries, theaters and malls.

• Check on animals frequently to ensure that they aren’t suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.

Heat exhaustion

Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

If someone is experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, get them to a cooler place, have them rest, lightly stretch the affected muscle and replenish their fluids with a half a glass (about 4 ounces) of cool water every 15 minutes.

If someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion – cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness exhaustion – move them to a cooler place, remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person.

If they’re conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly.

Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 911 or the local emergency number.

Heat stroke is life-threatening

Signs of heat stroke include hot, red skin that may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting; and high body temperature.

Call 911 or the local emergency number immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke. Move the person to a cooler place.

Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water, if possible. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.

For more information about what to do when temperatures rise, people can visit redcross.org, download the Red Cross Heat Wave Safety Checklist or download the free Red Cross First Aid. The app is available for iPhone-; Android smartphone- and tablet-users in the Apple App Store and in the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

People can learn how to treat heat-related and other emergencies by taking first aid and CPR/AED training online or in person.

For more information or to register, visit red
cross.org/takeaclass
.

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