Thursday, June 9, 2011

Here are important heat safety tips you need today

If you've "Liked" my CBS 6 Facebook Page (click here to do so), then you have been receiving lots of heat safety tips from my feed for yesterday and today's dangerous combination of high heat and humidity. I'll summarize that information here on the blog now for everyone! Please stay cool and safe today...and share this information with others!
  • Did you know the average adult requires 2-3 liters of water on a hot day like this? For your reference, 3 liters is just shy of a gallon. Recycle your milk gallon when it's empty by filling it up with water! The average child requires 1-2 liters, depending on the age. Just think of an empty 2 liter Coke bottle...that's how much water a kid playing outside today needs!
  • Don't eat foods high in protein on extremely hot days like today. Your body has to work harder to process it, and that can make it more difficult to stay cool if you're outside in the heat!
  • Eat smaller meals through the day to help your body digest easier and let it fight the heat without working so hard to both digest big meals and be outside in the extreme heat trying to keep your body temperature at a safe level.
  • If you wait to drink water when you feel thirsty, you're already becoming dehydrated! Drink water early and often through the day. Don't wait until your brain says, "Hey, I'm thirsty!"
  • Your instinct might be to drink something extremely cold if you've been out in the heat. But don't! Ice-cold drinks consumed quickly can cause stomach cramps. Opt instead for a nice, cool glass of water.
  • Don't consume drinks with alcohol, caffeine, or sugar in them. They dehydrate you.
  • Did you know that the temperature in your vehicle (without A/C and with windows closed) can skyrocket to 130 degrees within just a few minutes?! Think about this: When you pump gas and have to turn off the car, if your kids or pets are in the vehicle, open every window and make sure they have water to drink!
  • Get your outdoor, strenuous activities accomplished before 9AM. Even well after sunset, heat index values can hold in the upper 80s and low 90s, making it more difficult for your body to exercise safely.
  • Playground equipment, even the plastic sets, can become dangerously enough to cause serious burns on your child's skin! If your kids want to play, take them immediately after breakfast (before 9AM). The play sets heat up quickly, and the tender skin of kids can burn easier than an adult's. Always test the equipment yourself before allowing your kids to play.
  • If you have outdoor pets, they need to come indoors today! They need to stay cool and hydrated, too.
  • Put towels on your leather/fake leather car seats so you don't burn your skin when you sit down!
  • If you are outside today and you start to feel sleepy, disoriented, or develop a headache, those are the first signs of a heat-related illness. You need to move into the A/C immediately and drink water. Remove as much clothing as possible, and put cool compresses on your pulse points to help lower your rising body temperature.
  • One of the treatments for someone suffering from a heat-related illness is to put them in a cool bath of water. But you can't put ice in the water, because that can cause too quick of a temperature don't want hypothermia!
  • Speaking of Heat-Related Illnesses...Do you know the signs of Heat Stroke (when the body's cooling system stops working)? They are: Extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)...Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)...Rapid pulse...Throbbing headache...Dizziness...Nausea...Confusion...Unconsciousness.
  • And here are the symptoms of Heat Exhaustion (a step below heat stroke): Heavy sweating...Paleness...Muscle cramps...Tiredness...Weakness...Dizziness...Headache...Nausea or vomiting...Fainting. The CDC says the skin may be cool and moist, with a fast but weak pulse rate. Breathing is fast and shallow. If untreated, it can progress to the more severe heat stroke.
  • Did you know: Heat-related deaths were the #1 weather killer in the U.S. in 2010? Not tornadoes, not hurricanes, not lightning! Flood, the long-term #1 killer, came in second in 2010.

  • For your reference, here is a Heat Index chart (from the National Weather Service) along with the associated heat-related illnesses that can occur:
And here is an excellent resource with more heat-safety tips you can print off and post on the fridge for your family to see:

Learn more from the CDC about heat safety by clicking here for their extensive resources.

Stay safe and cool!
--Meteorologist Carrie Rose

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