Don’t Go “Crazy with the Heat”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVXnhoaHG_o

Summer has officially hit in full force. The temperatures are rising and are supposed to reach the 100s in the coming days. Don’t let what happens to Goofy and Donald happen to you.

Like Donald and Goofy traveling through the dessert, I know that everyone must subject themselves to the heat sometimes. But there are some things that you can do to keep yourself safe in the rising heat.

If you have to work outside, be sure to take breaks to keep yourself from overheating. Wear light colored, loose-fitting clothing. Donald knew the importance of water when staying safe in the heat. Although it may not be useful to dig yourself into a hole searching for one drop of water, be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day. Also, be sure to avoid extreme temperature changes. It may be tempting to take a freezing cold shower or turn the air conditioning to as cold as it can go, but it is better to ease your way to cooler temperatures.

Unfortunately, when we’re being careful, heat related emergencies can still happen to you or someone you know. When Donald and Goofy began to see mirages, they didn’t know what to do, other than go along with them. Don’t let that happen to you. Be sure you know what to do if that should happen.

Heat cramps can happen when exposed to high heat and humidity with a loss of fluids and electrolytes. These cramps are muscle pains and spasms that usually happen in the legs or abdomen.

Heat exhaustion typically occurs after strenuous exercise or physical labor in the extreme heat. Loss of fluids from heavy sweating can also lead to heat exhaustion. Signs that someone may be suffering from heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion. If someone is showing these signs, move the person to a cooler place and remove or loosen any tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the person’s skin. Give the person small amounts of cool water for them to drink slowly. If they refuse water, vomit or begin to lose consciousness, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

Heat stroke is a life threatening condition that occurs when a person’s temperature control system stops working and their body is unable to cool itself. If they have hot, red skin, loss of consciousness, vomiting and high body temperature, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. After calling 911, move the person to a cooler place and rapidly cool the body, as you would for heat exhaustion. Apply ice or cold packs wrapped in a cloth to the person’s wrists, ankles, groin, neck and/or armpits.

While hearing about these types of heat emergencies can be scary, they can be prevented. By following the Red Cross’s Heat Wave Safety Checklist, and preparing for high temperatures, you can keep yourself and those around you safe in this heat. Don’t let what happened to Goofy and Donald happen to you. Don’t go “Crazy with the Heat”.

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