Staying safe during a heat wave | Swansea, MA
When we get that nice summer weather (especially in Massachusetts), we just want to soak up the sun and bask in the warmth before we get the cold weather again. But just like anything else, too much of a good thing can be bad.
According to the American Red Cross, "A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessive heat, generally 10 degrees or more above average, often combined with excessive humidity."
If you're working outside or on any job sites, please be sure to stay as hydrated as possible, and take breaks in the shade or anywhere with cool air.
What to do during heat waves
- NEVER leave children or pets alone in a vehicle. Even with the windows down, temps can rise within a matter of minutes.
- Avoid any exhausting activity, especially outdoors.
- Wear light colored, loose fitting clothing. Wearing darker colors will "attract" the sunlight and you will feel way hotter. Lighter colors reflect light and will help you stay cooler.
- Drink, drink drink!! Keep drinking that water! Yes, we know, it can be so plain and blahhhh. But to stay hydrated and healthy during extreme temps, it's a must!
- Stay inside as much as possible, and don't allow pets and children play outside for long periods of time.
- If you would like to be outside, try to avoid going out during the afternoon. It's much cooler during the morning and evening outs, and it's more bearable.
- Check up on family, friends, and neighbors, especially your elders.
Heat cramps, exhaustion, and stroke
During heat waves like the one we have been experiencing here in Massachusetts, it's important to know the symptoms of heat related illnesses so you know how to properly respond.
This is the most serious kind of illness you can suffer from heat. Heat stroke can be life threatening. Heat stroke happens when the body begins to shut down.
Symptoms of heat stroke: high body temp, red skin, weak or rapid pulse and breathing, confusion, vomiting.
Treatment: Immediately call 9-1-1 if someone is suffering from heat stroke, they need assistance as soon as possible. While you wait for the help to arrive, move them to a cool area and wrap them with cool towels or sheets if possible.
Symptoms of heat cramps: Heat cramps are pains and spasms due to excessive sweating. The cramps usually are in the stomach/abdomen area or the legs.
Treatment: Bring the person to a cooler or shaded area, give them water, or even better a sports drink with a lot of electrolytes.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion: pale or red skin, nausea dizziness and weakness.
Treatment: Help them to a cooler area, apply cool, wet towels. Give them water or a sports drink every 15 minutes. Make sure they drink slowly, and call 9-1-1 if they seem to get worse.
It's very important that whenever you are outdoors, that you are wearing sunscreen! Even on cloudy days, you can get a burn.