|Photo courtesy of strongdog.org|
These events are normally accompanied by 3 types of heat weather warnings:
· Excessive Heat Watch—Conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event to meet or exceed local Excessive Heat Warning criteria in the next 24 to 72 hours.
Some signs of heat related health emergencies are as follows:
· Heat cramps are caused by exposure to high heat and humidity and loss of fluids and electrolytes.
o The signs include: muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen.
o How to treat it: Move to a cool place; slowly drink cool water; remove tight clothing, apply cool compresses to skin.
o How to treat it: move the person to a cooler place; remove or loosen tight clothing; apply cool, wet clothes or towels to skin; fan the person; if conscious, give the person small amounts of cool water to drink… make sure they drink slowly; watch for changes in condition.
§ If the person refuses water, is unconscious or vomits, call 9-1-1.
· Heat stroke or sun stroke is a life-threatening condition which is caused by a person’s temperature control system not working, so the body is unable to cool itself.
o The signs include: hot, red skin which may be moist or dry; changes in consciousness; vomiting; high body temperature
o How to treat it: Call 9-1-1 immediately; move the person to a cooler place; remove or loosen tight clothing; apply cool, wet clothes or towels to skin; fan the person; if conscious, give the person small amounts of cool water to drink… make sure they drink slowly; apply ice/cold packs wrapped in cloth to wrists, ankles, groin, neck, and armpits.
For tips on how to prepare for a heat wave and what you should do during a heat wave, click here to view a Red Cross fact sheet!