Tips for avoiding extreme heat illnesses

Updated: 07/01/2014 7:45 AM
Created: 06/30/2014 9:49 PM WHEC.com

With temperatures approaching 90 degrees or higher Tuesday, Rural/Metro Medical Services has some safety tips to help you avoid extreme heat illnesses.

Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness

Drink plenty of fluids, water is recommended. Avoid alcohol and large amounts of sugar.

Stay cool by using fans, air conditioners and stay indoors.  If possible utilize shopping malls and library if your home does not have air conditioners

Wear loose fitting, light-colored clothing

Check on infants, young children, disabled and population aged 65  and older 

(at risk population)

Limit your exposure to the heat

Don’t leave children or pets in cars

Recognize the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion

Heat stroke signs vary but may include the following:

An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F, orally) 

Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating) 

Rapid, strong pulse 

Throbbing headache 





You may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency if you see any of these signs.  Call 911 while you begin cooling the victim.

Do the following:

Remove the victim from the heat source and rapidly cool the victim. Examples: immerse the victim in a tub of cool water; place the person in a cool shower; spray the victim with cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water, wrap the victim in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously. 

Do not give the victim fluids to drink. 

Heat exhaustion includes the following signs and symptoms:

Heavy sweating 


Muscle cramps 





Nausea or vomiting 


Cooling measures for heat exhaustion can be done by doing the following:

Intake cool, nonalcoholic beverages 


Cool shower, bath, or sponge bath 

Removal from heated environment and go to an air-conditioned environment 

Lightweight clothing 

Cool off using a swimming pool

Call 911 or seek medical attention if you are having these symptoms or if are unsure.

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