Beat the Heat with these Cool Summer Safety Tips

Family taking a selfie on the beach with the wind blowing in their hair.

While we wait all year to enjoy the summer months, it is key to be weather wise and keep in mind safety tips during times of extreme heat, reminds Cathy Herrera, MESH, Monarch’s safety manager.

We can still enjoy summer fun but being safety aware is important and many times critical in some circumstances.

The summer months, and even spring, in North Carolina can mean extreme heat. “Extreme heat is a period of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees for at least two to three days,” explains Cathy. “In extreme heat, your body works extra hard to maintain a normal temperature, which could lead to severe health instances and even death.”

National statistics indicate that extreme heat is responsible for the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards. Older adults, children and people who are ill or overweight are at a greater risk from extreme heat.

Cathy suggests the following tips to guard against situations caused by extreme heat.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is when the body has an extremely elevated temperature of 103 degrees or above with red, hot and dry skin with no sweat.

A rapid, strong pulse along with dizziness, confusion and unconsciousness is also common signs. If you suspect heat stroke, call 9-1-1 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives. Do not give the person anything to drink.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion can be exhibited in heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, fast or weak pulse, dizziness, headache, fainting, nausea or vomiting. To treat heat exhaustion, move to a cool location, drink lots of water, and soak in a cool bath or use cool compresses.

Temperatures inside of a vehicle during the summer months can turn deadly

Parents can place an object that requires them to open the back door every time they park. It might also help to leave a stuffed animal in the car seat and place that toy in the front seat as a reminder. Parents can also make it routine to open the back door every time they get of their vehicle.

It is also important to keep keys and remote openers out of a child’s reach. Small children should not have access to cars when parents are not present with an added safety benefit of keeping cars locked when in the garage or driveway.

Identify places in your community where you can go to get cool

Locations can include libraries and shopping malls or contact your local health department to find a cooling center in your area.

Cathy reminded to also keep an eye on neighbors, especially anyone who is elderly, house-bound or reluctant to ask for help. Offer to share air conditioned living spaces during hot days, drive them to a local cooling center or call relatives to make other arrangements.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website that offers additional information about staying cool during the summer months.

Posted on: Tuesday June 7, 2022