Heat and Sunburn

  • Keep Your Cool in Hot Weather

    extreme-heatNow is the time to prepare for the high temperatures that kill hundreds of people every year. Extreme heat caused 7,415 heat-related deaths in the United States from 1999 to 2010 . Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable, yet annually many people succumb to extreme heat.

    Take measures to stay cool, remain hydrated and to keep informed. Getting too hot can make you sick. You can become ill from the heat if your body can't compensate for it and properly cool you off. The main things affecting your body's ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather are:

    • High humidity. When the humidity is high, sweat won't evaporate as quickly, which keeps your body from releasing heat as fast as it may need to.
    • Personal factors. Age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use can play a role in whether a person can cool off enough in very hot weather.
    Mature man wiping sweat from foreheadPeople age 65 and older are at high risk for heat-related illnesses.

    Those who are at highest risk include people 65 and older, children younger than two, and people with chronic diseases or mental illness.  Closely monitor people who depend on you for their care:

    • Are they drinking enough water?
    • Do they have access to air conditioning?
    • Do they need help keeping cool?

    People at greatest risk for heat-related illness can take the following protective actions to prevent illness or death:

    • Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. Contact your local health department or locate an air-conditioned shelter in your area. Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. If a home is not air-conditioned, people can reduce their risk for heat-related illness by spending time in public facilities that are air-conditioned, and using air conditioning in vehicles.
    • Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device during an extreme heat event.
    • Drink more water than usual and don't wait until you're thirsty to drink.
    • Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.
    • Don't use the stove or oven to cook—it will make you and your house hotter.

    Even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather:

    • Limit outdoor activity, especially midday when the sun is hottest.
    • Wear and reapply sunscreen as indicated on the package.
    • Pace activity. Start activities slow and pick up the pace gradually.
    • Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more. Muscle cramping may be an early sign of heat-related illness.
    • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.

    If you participate on a sports team that practices during hot weather protect yourself and look out for your teammates:

    • Schedule workouts and practices earlier or later in the day when the temperature is cooler.
    • Monitor a teammate’s condition, and have someone do the same for you.
    • Seek medical care immediately if you or a teammate has symptoms of heat-related illness.
    • Learn more about how to protect young athletes from heat-related illness by taking this CDC course.
    Young girl sweating and drinking waterDrink plenty of fluids to prevent heat-related illnesses.

    Everyone should take these steps to prevent heat-related illnesses, injuries, and deaths during hot weather:

    • Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as possible.
    • Drink plenty of fluids even if you don't feel thirsty.
    • Schedule outdoor activities carefully.
      • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and sunscreen.
      • Pace yourself.
    • Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
    • Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.
    • Never leave children or pets in cars.
    • Check the local news for health and safety updates.
  • Death by Heat

    Heat is typically the leading cause of weather related fatalities each year. A heat wave is a
    period of abnormally hot and humid weather, generally lasting more than 2 days. Heat waves
    have the potential to cover a large area, exposing a high number of people to a hazardous
    combination of heat and humidity, which can be very taxing on the body. Learn how to stay
    safe during a heat wave at www.weather.gov/heatsafety #HeatSafety

    Heat-stress-collaps

  • Is a Heat Wave Coming?

    Probably. As the NOAA explains, North American summers are hot; most summers see heat waves in one or more parts of the United States. Heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year and even more heat-related illnesses.

    What can you do? During Extreme Heat Week, we remind you that taking precautions is far easier than treating Heat Stress and Heat Related Injuries. While The First Day of Summer (Summer Solstice) in 2016 is June 20, this is  just a date on the calendar - Meteorological Summer (real summer weather-wise) is about to  begin on June 1st. Things will heat up, so play and work safe - plan your activities for early and late hours when it is cooler, and stay indoors or in the shade during the hottest mid-day hours.

    Remember that Summer also holds significant weather hazards. Heat waves can be lengthy and deadly. Lightning deaths are at their peak during the summer. Beach hazards such as rip currents can catch the unprepared. And, it’s the start of hurricane season.Blazing

  • Heating up

    Today is the First Day of EXTREME HEAT WEEK

    While it may be lovely Spring weather at present, it won't last and we've had some gnarly heat waves in  recent years, so we want you to be prepared.

    We'll be sharing new information about Heat Safety all week, but want o open with a look back at some great information shared in the past:

    Electrolytes, which can be found in some sports drinks, are compounds ideal for avoiding side effects associated with exorbitant perspiration. Our Electrolyte Tablets will aid in the prevention of fatigue, muscle cramps, and heat exhaustion during such excessive sweating. For convenience, each packet contains a single-dose of two tablets, and we carry a pill keychain for on-the-go readiness.2799250

  • Extreme Heat Week ??

    Beat The Heat BackseatSummer is coming - and with it heat-related illness and injury. The White House has designated May 23–27 as Extreme Heat Week, during which federal agencies will take a number of actions to work with community planners and public health officials to enhance community preparedness for extreme heat events. To learn more about heat stress and saefty read:

     

  • Sweating? ??

    Summer.. Heat, Sun, Sweat.

    Dehydration can be deadly. Lean how to Beat the Heat:

    Heat Stress & Heat-Related Illness Heat Stress & Heat-Related Illness

    What is heat illness?

    The body normally cools itself by sweating. During hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating isn't enough. Body temperature can rise to dangerous levels if precautions are not taken such as drinking water frequently and resting in the shade or air conditioning. Heat illnesses range from heat rash and heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention and can result in death.

    How can heat illness be prevented?

    Employers should establish a complete heat illness prevention program to prevent heat illness. This includes: provide workers with water, rest and shade; gradually increase workloads and allow more frequent breaks for new workers or workers who have been away for a week or more to build a tolerance for working in the heat(acclimatization); modify work schedules as necessary; plan for emergencies and train workers about the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and their prevention; and monitor workers for signs of illness. Workers new to the heat or those that have been away from work and are returning can be most vulnerable to heat stress and they must be acclimatized (see box).

    To prevent heat related illness and fatalities:

    • Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
    • Rest in the shade to cool down.
    • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
    • Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
    • Keep an eye on fellow workers.
    • "Easy does it" on your first days of work in the heat. You need to get used to it.

    If workers are new to working in the heat or returning from more than a week off, and for all workers on the first day of a sudden heat wave, implement a work schedule to allow them to get used to the heat gradually. Working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep this in mind and plan additional precautions for working in these conditions.

    Remember these three simple words: Water, Rest, Shade. Taking these precautions can mean the difference between life and death.

    Who is affected?

    Any worker exposed to hot and humid conditions is at risk of heat illness, especially those doing heavy work tasks or using bulky protective clothing and equipment. Some workers might be at greater risk than others if they have not built up a tolerance to hot conditions, including new workers, temporary workers, or those returning to work after a week or more off. This also includes everyone during a heat wave.

    Industries most affected by heat-related illness are: construction; trade, transportation and utilities; agriculture; building, grounds maintenance; landscaping services; and support activities for oil and gas operations.

  • Hot Weather Health Emergencies

    Summertime:

    You've gotten your Summer First Aid Kit,

    You've Slathered on the Sunscreen,

    You've Reviewed your Summer Safety Tips,

    You've even Read all about Electrolytes,

    Now what?

    Photo of thermometer measuring high temperature.Even short periods of high temperatures can cause serious health problems. During hot weather health emergencies, keep informed by listening to local weather and news channels or contact local health departments for health and safety updates. Doing too much on a hot day, spending too much time in the sun or staying too long in an overheated place can cause heat-related illnesses. Know the symptoms of heat disorders and overexposure to the sun, and be ready to give first aid treatment.

    Heat Stroke

    Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature. The body's temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.

    Recognizing Heat Stroke

    Warning signs of heat stroke 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
    • Dizziness
    • Nausea
    • Confusion
    • Unconsciousness

    What to Do

    If you see any of these signs, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the victim. Do the following:

    • Get the victim to a shady area.
    • Cool the victim rapidly using whatever methods you can. For example, 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; or if the humidity is low, wrap the victim in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.
    • Monitor body temperature, and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102°F.
    • If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
    • Do not give the victim fluids to drink.
    • Get medical assistance as soon as possible.

    Sometimes a victim's muscles will begin to twitch uncontrollably as a result of heat stroke. If this happens, keep the victim from injuring himself, 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 or her side.

    Heat Exhaustion

    Photo of man exhausted from playing tennis.Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. It is the body's response to an excessive loss of the water and salt contained in sweat. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, people with high blood pressure, and people working or exercising in a hot environment.

    Recognizing Heat Exhaustion

    Warning signs of heat exhaustion include the following:

    • Heavy sweating
    • Paleness
    • Muscle cramps
    • Tiredness
    • Weakness
    • Dizziness
    • Headache
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Fainting

    The skin may be cool and moist. The victim's pulse rate will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow. If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke. Seek medical attention immediately if any of the following occurs:

    • Symptoms are severe
    • The victim has heart problems or high blood pressure

    Otherwise, help the victim to cool off, and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last longer than 1 hour.

    What to Do

    Cooling measures that may be effective include the following:

    • Cool, nonalcoholic beverages
    • Rest
    • Cool shower, bath, or sponge bath
    • An air-conditioned environment
    • Lightweight clothing

    Heat Cramps

    Heat cramps usually affect people who sweat a lot during strenuous activity. This sweating depletes the body's salt and moisture. The low salt level in the muscles may be the cause of heat cramps. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.

    Recognizing Heat Cramps

    Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms—usually in the abdomen, arms, or legs—that may occur in association with strenuous activity. If you have heart problems or are on a low-sodium diet, get medical attention for heat cramps.

    What to Do

    If medical attention is not necessary, take these steps:

    • Stop all activity, and sit quietly in a cool place.
    • Drink clear juice or a sports beverage.
    • Do not return to strenuous activity for a few hours after the cramps subside, because further exertion may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
    • Seek medical attention for heat cramps if they do not subside in 1 hour.

    Sunburn

    Photo of sun bather.Sunburn should be avoided because it damages the skin. Although the discomfort is usually minor and healing often occurs in about a week, a more severe sunburn may require medical attention.

    Recognizing Sunburn

    Symptoms of sunburn are well known: the skin becomes red, painful, and abnormally warm after sun exposure.

    What to Do

    Consult a doctor if the sunburn affects an infant younger than 1 year of age or if these symptoms are present:

    • Fever
    • Fluid-filled blisters
    • Severe pain

    Also, remember these tips when treating sunburn:

    • Avoid repeated sun exposure.
    • Apply cold compresses or immerse the sunburned area in cool water.
    • Apply moisturizing lotion to affected areas. Do not use salve, butter, or ointment.
    • Do not break blisters.

    Heat Rash

    Photo of woman's face sweating.Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather. It can occur at any age but is most common in young children.

    Recognizing Heat Rash

    Heat rash looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters. It is more likely to occur on the neck and upper chest, in the groin, under the breasts, and in elbow creases.

    What to Do

    The best treatment for heat rash is to provide a cooler, less humid environment. Keep the affected area dry. Dusting powder may be used to increase comfort.

    Treating heat rash is simple and usually does not require medical assistance. Other heat-related problems can be much more severe.

  • Don’t Fry Day

    Know the importance of skin cancer prevention and sun-safety behaviors.

    Today is Don’t Fry Day.

    Don't forget the Sunblock or Sunscreen! Don't forget the Sunblock or Sunscreen!

    The Friday before Memorial Day is Don’t Fry Day: Protect your skin today and every day.

    Millions of Americans will enjoy the great outdoors this weekend. Skin cancer, caused by too much sun, is the most common of all cancers in the United States. More people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer combined.

    The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention reminds you to enjoy the outdoors safely. We have named the Friday before Memorial Day Don’t Fry Day. In the same way we teach kids to wear bike helmets, we can also teach them to wear wide-brimmed hats.

    What You Can Do to Be Safe in the Sun:

    1. Do Not Burn
      Overexposure to the sun is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.
    2. Avoid Sun Tanning and Tanning Beds
      Ultraviolet (UV) light from tanning beds and the sun causes skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look like you’ve been in the sun, use a sunless self-tanning product instead.
    3. Cover Up
      Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, where possible.
    4. Seek Shade/Use Umbrellas
      Seek shade when appropriate. Remember that the sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
    5. Generously Apply Sunscreen
      Generously apply sunscreen to all exposed skin using a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 that provides broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
    6. Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow and Sand
      Water, snow and sand reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
    7. Check the UV Index
      The UV Index provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent overexposure to the sun. Developed by the National Weather Service (NWS) and EPA, you can find the UV Index for your area online at: http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html.

    Get Vitamin D Safely
    Get vitamin D safely through a diet that includes vitamin supplements and foods fortified with vitamin D. Don’t seek the sun or indoor tanning.

    Download the informational poster. DFD

  • Are you Tsunami Ready? #TsunamiPrep #WRW

    Official tsunami warnings are broadcast through local radio and tv, wireless emergency alerts, NOAA Weather Radio and NOAA websites. They may also come through outdoor sirens, local officials, text message alerts and telephone notifications.Tsunami-Prep

    Also read:

    Learn about the four levels of tsunami alerts: http://1.usa.gov/1LyahtZ  #TsunamiPrep #WRW

  • Heat Stress - Heat Exhaustion - Heat Stroke

    We've covered heat illness in previous posts and gone in depth with articles about Heat Stress and Heat Related Injuries – Heat Exhaustion / Heat Stroke... now lets hit a few "Quick and Dirty" Summer Heat Safety reminders:

    Most of you know it can get pretty hot during the summer months. Therefore, it is important to know how the heat can affect you.

    As temperatures rise, so does the stress on your body. Several things can help you battle the heat - acclimation to the heat, consumption of water and good nutrition.

    Always keep electrolytes on hand for replenishment! Always keep electrolytes on hand for replenishment!

    Your body is a good regulator of heat. Your body reacts to heat by circulating blood and raising your skin's temperature. The excess heat is released through the skin by sweating. Sweating can also maintain a stable body temperature if the humidity level is low enough to permit evaporation and if fluids and salts you lose are adequately replaced. When your body cannot release heat, it stores it which raises your core temperature and puts your health at risk.

    Heat Stress (Heat Cramps)

    Excessive heat places abnormal stress on your body. When your body temperature rises even a few degrees above normal, you can experience muscle cramps, become weak, disoriented and ill. The six factors of heat stress are temperature, humidity, movement of air or lack of, radiant temperature of your surroundings (ie: working around a grill), clothing and physical activity.

    Signs of heat stress (heat cramps) - tiredness, irritability, inattention, and muscle cramps which are painful intermittent spasms of the abdomen and other voluntary muscles. Heat cramps usually occur after heavy sweating and may begin towards the end of a workday.

    Summer Safety Summer Safety

    First Aid for heat stress/heat cramps - drink fluids (water or Gatorade - not alcohol, caffeine or carbonated beverages) and move to a cool environment.

    Heat Exhaustion

    This develops when a person fails to replace fluids and salt that are lost through sweating. You may start to experience extreme weakness, fatigue, giddiness, nausea or a headache.

    First Aid for heat exhaustion - rest in the shade or a cool place, drink plenty of water or Gatorade, loosen clothing to allow your body to cool and use cool wet rags to aid cooling.

    Heat Stroke

    This is a life threatening medical condition that urgently requires medical attention. Sweating is diminished or absent, which makes the skin hot and dry. Body temperature is very high (greater than 105 degrees).

    Signs of heat stroke - mental confusion, delirium, chills, dizziness, loss of consciousness, convulsions or coma, hot, dry skin that may be red, mottled or bluish.

    First Aid for heat stroke - this is a medical emergency! Call 9-1-1. Brain damage and death are possible. Until medical help arrives, move the victim from the heat and into a cool place.

    Also read our Summer Safety Tips!!!

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