Heat Safety Tips

July 18, 2019


John Lyon
Strategic Communications Manager

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A large section of the U.S., including Arkansas, is expected to experience a heat wave lasting into the weekend, according to meteorologists. Heat is the No. 1 weather-related killer in the U.S., so it’s important to stay safe. Here are some tips:

  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids. Alcohol will not help because it is dehydrating.
  • Spend as much time as you can in an air-conditioned indoor area. When outdoors, spend as much time as you can in the shade.
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing outdoors.
  • Wear a hat in the sun.
  • Avoid over-exertion.
  • Check on neighbors and relatives, especially the elderly. Make sure they are in a cool environment.
  • If you have outdoor pets, make sure they have plenty of cool water and a shady spot.
  • Do not leave children or pets in a parked car. The temperature in a parked car can rise quickly on a hot day and become deadly.
  • Wear sunscreen with a skin protection factor (SPF) of 15 outdoors.
  • Try to avoid being in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The most serious heat-related illness is heatstroke, also known as sunstroke. It is a life-threatening medical emergency. Call 911 immediately if you believe you or someone around you is experiencing heatstroke. Symptoms to look for, according to the CDC, include:

  • body temperature of 103 degrees or higher
  • hot, red skin
  • fast, strong pulse
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • confusion
  • loss of consciousness

Heat exhaustion is less serious and can be reversed by moving into a cooler environment, loosening clothes, putting wet cloths on your body, taking a cool bath, and drinking water. Symptoms to look for include:

  • heavy sweating
  • cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • fast, weak pulse
  • nausea or vomiting
  • muscle cramps
  • tiredness or weakness
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • loss of consciousness
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