U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issues extreme heat safety tips

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issues extreme heat safety tips

(KFVS) - In response to high temperatures and humidity forecast for this week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued the following heat safety tips.

People suffering heat stress may experience heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, and clammy skin; fast, weak pulse; and nausea or vomiting.  Early signs include muscle cramps, heat rash, fainting or near-fainting spells, and a pulse or heart rate greater than 100.

People suffering from heat stress should be moved to a cooler location to lie down.  Apply cool, wet cloths to the body especially to head, neck, arm pits and upper legs near the groin are where combined 70 percent of body heat can be lost; and have the person sip water.  They should remain in the cool location until recovered with a pulse heart rate is well under 100 beats per minute.

Signs of the most severe heat-related illness, heat stroke, include a body temperature above 103 degrees Fahrenheit; hot, red, dry or moist skin; rapid and strong pulse; and altered mental status which can range from confusion and agitation to unconsciousness.  Call 911 immediately and take steps to cool the person.

Children are especially vulnerable to heat illness and may be unable to explain what is wrong.  In extreme heat, consider changes in a child's behavior to be heat stress.  This also applies to adults with communication-related disabilities.

Pay particular attention to elderly adults during periods of extreme heat.

To help prevent heat-related illness:

Spend time in locations with air-conditioning when possible.

Drink plenty of fluids.  Good choices are water and diluted sport electrolyte drinks (1 part sport drink to 2 parts water) unless told otherwise by a doctor.

Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.

For more information about how to prevent heat-related illnesses visit the HHS public health emergency preparedness website at http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/.

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