Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year. Be able to recognize the symptoms of heat related emergencies and know how to respond. Working in hot and humid weather, being in the sun, and doing hard physical work are things that need to be taken seriously. You are also at risk while doing yard work, playing sports, and other leisure activities.
Heat Exhaustion: Heavy sweating, weakness, wet skin, headache, dizziness / fainting, irritability / confusion, thirst, and nausea / vomiting are early signs. First aid includes getting the victim out of the sun, having them lie down, loosening clothing, applying cool, wet cloths, and administering sips of water.
Heat Stroke: High body temperature, hot, dry skin, rapid pulse, and possible unconsciousness can come on quickly. If you see a victim with these warning signs, they need immediate medical attention. Until medical help arrives, move the victim to a cooler environment and reduce body temperature with a cold bath or sponging.
Prevention: Water. Rest. Shade. Slow down, reschedule, or reduce strenuous activities until it is cooler. Wear lightweight and light colored clothing and don’t forget to wear a hat. Don’t exceed your physical capabilities and give yourself time to become acclimated to the activity and high temperatures. Drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic beverages that your body needs to keep cool. Keep a sharp lookout for coworkers, family, children, and the elderly. Don’t forget the pets.