Comprehensive heat tips from the National Weather Service - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Comprehensive heat tips from the National Weather Service

Excessive heat and humidity will make for dangerous conditions if proper precautions are not taken.

If working outside, take frequent breaks and drink enough water to remain hydrated.

Wear lightweight, light colored clothing, a hat and use an umbrella.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine which dehydrate the body.

Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.

Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid high protein foods, which increase metabolic heat.

Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous work, do it between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.

Stay indoors when possible. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of sunshine. Electric fans do not cool, they simply circulate air.

Check on elderly residents in your neighborhood and those who do not have air conditioning.

Never leave a child in a car with the windows rolled up, even for a few minutes.

Ensure pets have adequate fresh drinking water and a shady place to rest. Do not keep pets in cars with the windows rolled up, even partially. Temperatures inside cars can reach well over 150 degrees.

Know the signs of heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat cramps

Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. Although heat cramps are the least severe, they are an early signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.

Heat exhaustion

Heat exhaustion typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where bodily fluids are lost through heavy sweating. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim may suffer heat stroke. Signals of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale flushed or red skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness and exhaustion. Body temperature will be near normal.

Heat stroke

Also known as sunstroke and is life threatening. The victim's temperature control system, which produced sweat to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly. Signals include hot, red and dry skin, changes in consciousness, rapid, weak pulse and rapid, shallow breathing. Body temperature can be very high, sometimes as high as 105 degrees.


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