A blistering, potentially historic and record-breaking heat wave is beginning today in the West, and is forecast to last at least through the weekend. “An excessive heat warning is issued when temperatures are forecast to reach dangerous levels that will stress the body if precautions are not taken,” the weather service warns.
Infants and children, the elderly, as well as those with chronic medical conditions such as chronic kidney disease, asthma, hypertension and diabetes are at increased risk for heat-related illness, according to Robert Glatter, emergency room physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. He says to prevent the adverse effects of heat-related illness, stay in a cool air-conditioned environment with access to plenty of cool fluids, mainly water. The cause of the heat wave is a “massive and unusually strong high-pressure system” over the region, the weather service reports.
Check out this video on how to survive the blistering heat![youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kxeiPUafWY]
Tips to Prevent Heat Related Illnesses
- An extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees Fahrenheit, orally)
- Dizziness, nausea and confusion
- Red, hot and dry skin (no sweating)
- Rapid, strong pulse
- Throbbing headache
- Heavy sweating
- Muscle cramps
- Paleness, tiredness, dizziness
- Have someone call 911 while you begin cooling the victim.
- Get the victim to a shady area.
- Cool the victim rapidly with a cool bath or shower, or by sponging with cool water, until body temperature drops to 101-102 degrees Fahrenheit, orally.
- If emergency medical staff are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
- Do not give the victim alcohol to drink.
- Again, get medical assistance as soon as possible.
If a victim’s muscles twitch uncontrollably as a result of heat stroke, keep the victim from injuring him/herself, but do not place any object in the mouth and do not give fluids. If there is vomiting, make sure the airway remains open by turning the victim on his/her side.
Don’t Forget the Pets
Animals, particularly those that spend time outdoors, are vulnerable to the heat as well. Check out the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals websitefor important tips on keeping your pets protected from heat and other emergencies! Hope everyone stays cool during this massive heat wave! Remember cooling centers such as libraries, community centers, and Sunvalley Mall are always a good alternative to maxing out your energy bill!