Monday, July 22, 2013

Staying Safe in the Summer Heat

From the NOVA Office of Emergency Management:

As the temperatures are expected to be in the mid to upper 90s for the remainder of this week, we would like to remind everyone about the importance of staying safe in the heat when outdoors for any length of time.  Below you will find some important information on how you can prevent heat-related illnesses as well as how to recognize their symptoms. 
Heat Stress occurs when the body is unable to cool itself by sweating.  Several heat-induced illnesses, such as heat stress or heat exhaustion and the more severe heat stroke, can occur and can result in death.

Factors leading to heat stress may include:

  • High temperature and humidity
  • Direct sun or heat
  • Limited air movement
  • Physical exertion
  • Poor physical condition
  • Some medications
  • Inadequate tolerance for hot workplaces

Ways to prevent heat stress include:
Know the signs/symptoms of heat-related illnesses
  • Monitor yourself and co-workers
  • Block out direct sun or other heat sources
  • Use cooling fans/air-conditioning
  • Rest regularly
  • Drink lots of water; about 1 cup every 15 minutes
  • Wear lightweight, light colored, and loose-fitting clothes
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks, or heavy meals
 Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Weakness and moist skin
  • Mood changes such as irritability or confusion
  • Upset stomach or vomiting
Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Dry, hot skin with no sweating
  • Mental confusion or losing consciousness
  • Seizures or convulsions

What to do for heat-related illness:
Call 911 (or local emergency number) at once
  • While waiting for help to arrive:
    • Move to a cool, shaded area
    • Loosen or remove heavy clothing
    • Provide cool drinking water
    • Fan and mist the person with water

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