Heat wave poses risk

Weather-Hot-Temps

Temperatures in the Valley are expected to soar into the 90s this week. The heat wave could put young children, the elderly and pets at risk.

One of the biggest hazards to children and pets are vehicles. The interior of a vehicle heats up about 20 degrees every ten minutes. Akron Children’s Hospital Injury Specialist Gia Ramsey said even temperatures in the 70s can be dangerous in a parked car.

“It doesn’t matter how it is outside that vehicle, it can still heat up even if it’s only 70 degrees,” said Ramsey. “You want to make sure your car is always left unlocked when it’s unattended so a child can’t get inside and play.”

Keep in mind a child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s body.

The Centers for Disease Control suggests the following tips to avoid heat related illnesses:

  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Stay indoors and, if possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If you do not have air conditioning, go to a shopping mall or public library, even a few hours spend in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
  • Take a cool shower or bath. Fans provide little relief when temperatures are in the 90s. Moving to an air-conditioned location is best.
  • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
  • Anyone can suffer from heat related illness, those at greater risk are infants and young children, people aged 65 or older, people who have mental illness and those physically ill.
  • Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and watch for sign of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
  • Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening.
  • Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool water each hour.

Signs of heat stroke:

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related disorder. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. When heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given.

  • Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Chills
  • Throbbing headache
  • High body temperature
  • Confusion/dizziness
  • Slurred speech workers.

Sign of heat exhaustion:

Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to an excessive loss of the water and salt, usually through excessive sweating. Workers most prone to heat exhaustion are those that are elderly, have high blood pressure, and those working in a hot environment.

  • Heavy sweating
  • Extreme weakness or fatigue
  • Dizziness, confusion
  • Nausea
  • Clammy, moist skin
  • Pale or flushed complexion
  • Muscle cramps
  • Slightly elevated body temperature
  • Fast and shallow breathing

Pets can also be sensitive to the heat. The American Kennel Club advises pet owners to always provide cool, fresh water and shade to pets kept outdoors. Try to avoid prolonged exposure to hot asphalt or sand, which can burn your dog’s paws.

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