Rudy’s Top 5 Safety Tips During Hot Weather
Heat-related deaths and illness in the U.S. account for more people dying annually than those killed in hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. Heat related incidents are totally preventable yet annually many people succumb to extreme heat. Historically from 1979-2003, excessive heat exposure caused 8,015 deaths in the United States. In 2001, 300 deaths were caused by excessive heat exposure. Here are some tips to follow during hot-dry weather.
To protect yourself when temperatures are 90 degrees or higher, remember to keep cool and use common sense. Follow these common sense tips:
1. DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS
Regardless of your activity level, increase your consumption of fluids.Waiting until you’re thirsty to drink something is too late. Drinking alcoholic beverages act as a reverse causing your body to dehydrate. If you’re doing exercises in a hot weather, drink at least two to four glasses of fluids every hour. you will need to increase your fluid intake by two to three times normal consumption.
2. Replace your minerals
Replacing salt and minerals in your body is something we never seem toremember to do. Think for just a moment, when the Dallas Cowboys are playing football on a 100 degree day you see each player doing it”replacing important minerals”, and you should too. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. However, if you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor first. Sport drinks tend to be loaded with salt, minerals and sugars/sweeteners.
3. wear the right clothing
This means preparing for your day outdoors in the extreme heat. Put on theleast amount of clothing as possible when you are at home. Lightweight, light-colored and loose fitting cloths are what works best in high heat environments. Cover or shade your face by wearing a wide-brimmed hat. Cover other exposed areas because sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself. A sunburn will cause your body to lose fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun wear sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen the higher the SPF the better. Sunscreen needs to be applied 30 minutes prior to going outdoors. Continue to reapply in accordance with the SPF number on the package. Simple rule of thumb here, if it’s SPF 15, then reapply every 15 minutes and SPF 45 every 45 minutes. Please follow manufacturers directions or check with you family doctor.
4. Use the buddy system
Use a Buddy System, never try to undertake the great outdoors during extreme heat conditions. This is when most heat related accidents occur. You will lose track of time, forget to reapply sunscreen, drink water/fluids and take breaks. A heat caused illness will make a person to become confused or lose consciousness. When you are working in the heat , monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Never try to take on hot weather conditions alone.
5. monitor children and elderly
Infants and children are more sensitive to high temperatures and need adults
to regulate their environments and provide lots of fluids. Children are in more need of sunscreen because their skin may be more sensitive to sunburning.
People 65 years of age or older need someone who will call and check on them two to three times a day minimum. The elderly may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are not likely to sense and respond to change in temperature.
People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.
Those that are overweight may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat. And finally, people who overexert during work or exercise may become dehydrated and susceptible to heat sickness.
The Big Country has already seen several days where the temperatures have exceeded the 100 degree mark and summer doesn’t officially start until June 21st. It’s going to be a hot one so stay cool. For more information on hot weather safety information check out these web sites:
The American Red Cross web site