Hot Weather First Aid. Dealing with Heat Related Emergencies

Hot Weather First Aid. Heat Related Emergencies

While climate conditions and changing weather patterns fuel heated discussions about the long term effects of global warming, the U.S. and other parts of the world have experienced record
hot weather in 2013.  There may be differences of opinion, but the end result is the same if someone you care about is injured or worse.

During 1999–2009, an annual average of 658 heat-related deaths occurred in the United States and that number is expected to increase with the unusual hot weather many regions are experiencing.

Hot Weather – Recognizing Heat Related Emergencies

Warning signs of  heat related emergencies or injury include:

Heat Cramps (Least Severe) Heat Rash Heat Exhaustion Heat Stroke (Most Severe)
Intermittent large muscle spasms Inflamed and red skin Profuse sweating Lack of sweating
Profuse sweating May be itchy or prickly Weakness Fatigue
Nausea Nausea
Vomiting Vomiting
Headache Headache
Light Headedness Dizziness
Muscle Cramps Muscle Cramps

First Aid

If you recognize these signs of heat related emergencies you should discontinue any physical labor, move to shade and remove as many layers of clothing as possible to promote evaporation while sipping clear fluids until you feel better. If you have vomited, you should seek medical advice wherever possible.

Call 9-1-1 immediately for emergency medical assistance if any combination of the following symptoms occur:

  • Your temperature is elevated above 103 degrees
  • Your skin becomes hot / red / dry (or moist but sweating has stopped)
  • Your pulse is rapid or strong without exertion
  • You become dizzy or otherwise feel you may lose consciousness

Hot Weather Prevention

10 Tips for surviving hot weather

  1. Use fans and close all doors and windows including window coverings
  2. Use water not just to drink, but also to keep your body cool in hot weather
  3. Remain downstairs – since heat rises, your upstairs can be significantly warmer
  4. Turn off everything you can that emits additional heat inside your house
  5. Hydrate as much as possible with water or sports drinks
  6. Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages as both can promote dehydration
  7. Visit public buildings that have air conditioning to combat the hot weather
  8. Don’t eat large protein rich meals as this can increase metabolism which can raise your internal temperature
  9. If you need to be outside, use an umbrella and make sure your skin is covered with clothes or sunblock
  10. Don’t forget about your pets! They’re susceptible to hot weather too!

We hope you found this article helpful about hot weather first aid.    Please leave a comment or contact us if we can provide any assistance. SafetyMax Corporation provides businesses with emergency preparedness training, products and consulting services.   Call us at 800.585.8506 or visit us at www.safetymax.com.

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