heat distress

  • Record heat

    Heat - it's not just uncomfortable, it is dangerous.. for children and elderly especially, but for workers, too.

    Download OSHA’s heat app to stay safe on the job.

    Heat Safety Tool

    By U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

    When you're working in the heat, safety comes first. With the OSHA Heat Safety Tool, you have vital safety information available whenever and wherever you need it - right on your mobile phone.

    heat_appThe App allows workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their worksite, and, based on the heat index, displays a risk level to outdoor workers. Then, with a simple "click," you can get reminders about the protective measures that should be taken at that risk level to protect workers from heat-related illness-reminders about drinking enough fluids, scheduling rest breaks, planning for and knowing what to do in an emergency, adjusting work operations, gradually building up the workload for new workers, training on heat illness signs and symptoms, and monitoring each other for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.

    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.

    The OSHA Heat Tool is available in Spanish for Android and iPhone devices. To access the Spanish version on the iPhone, set the phone language setting to Spanish before downloading the app.

    Stay informed and safe in the heat, check your risk level.

    For more information about safety while working in the heat, see OSHA's heat illness webpage, including new online guidance about using the heat index to protect workers.

    ?    Heat & the Elderly
    ?    HEAT
    ?    Death by Heat
    ?    Extreme Heat and Your Health
    ?    Beat the Heat
    ?    Heat Stress – Heat Exhaustion – Heat Stroke
    ?    Heat and Heat Related Injuries and Illness ??
    ?    Heat Stress and Heat Related Injuries – Heat Exhaustion / Heat Stroke

  • Heat & the Elderly

    We've discussed how to keep your cool in hot weather, but what about some advice for older people on staying safe in hot weather?

    Since the risk of heat-related health problems increases with age, special considerations need be made. ??

    Senior-HeatAccording to the National Institutes for Health, heat fatigue, heat syncope (sudden dizziness after prolonged exposure to the heat), heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are forms of hyperthermia, which is caused by a failure of the body’s heat-regulating mechanisms to deal with a hot environment. The combination of individual lifestyle, general health, and high temperatures can increase older adults’ risk for heat-related problems.

    There are many things that can increase risk for hyperthermia, including:

    • Dehydration
    • Age-related changes to the skin such as poor blood circulation and inefficient sweat production
    • Use of multiple medications-it is important, however, to continue to take prescribed medication and discuss possible problems with a physician.
    • Reduced sweating caused by medications such as diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers and certain heart and blood pressure drugs
    • High blood pressure or other health conditions that require changes in diet- people on salt-restricted diets may be at increased risk, however, salt pills should not be used without first consulting a doctor.
    • Heart, lung and kidney diseases, as well as any illness that causes general weakness or fever
    • Being substantially overweight or underweight
    • Alcohol use

    For a free copy of the National Institute on Aging's Age Page on hyperthermia in English or in Spanish, contact the NIA Information Center at 1-800-222-2225 or go to https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/agepages.

  • HEAT

    Preparing for Extreme Heat

    Here at the end of Extreme Heat Week ?? we want to remind you that extreme heat events can happen anywhere in the United States. Extreme heat commonly occurs in the summer; however the main season for heat waves may vary regionally.

    While heat illness may affect seniors and the very young more rapidly, it is a condition to which we are all susceptible.

    • Heat-funnyExtreme Heat Safety Tips:
      Stay indoors, especially during the warmest part of the day (typically 11 am to 2 pm), and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning or it fails, go to a public building with air conditioning such as a shopping mall, public library, or community center.
    •  Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
    •  If you must be outside, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher. Avoid strenuous activity. If you must work, take frequent breaks.
    •  NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
    •  Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:
      o Infants and young children
      o People aged 65 or older
      o People who have a mental illness
      o Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure
    •  Get to know symptoms for heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and sunburn and how to respond immediately.
  • 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

  • Look Before You Lock

    Extreme Heat creates dangers for all ages, from Heat and Heat Related Injuries and Illness to death. While we often focus on safety working in the heat, and staying hydrated, it's not all about adults and electrolytes... During Extreme Heat Week, we want to remind you that pets and children die when left in cars every year... Look Before You Lock!

    heat-graphic

    Sweating? ??

    Each year, dozens of children and untold numbers of pets left in parked vehicles die from hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is an acute condition that occurs when the body absorbs more heat than it can handle. Hyperthermia can occur even on a mild day. Studies have shown that the temperature inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to a dangerous level for children, pets and even adults. Leaving the windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate. The effects can be more severe on children because their bodies have not developed the ability to efficiently regulate its internal temperature.

    The sun's shortwave radiation (yellow in figure below) heats objects that it strikes.  For example, a dark dashboard or seat can easily reach temperatures in the range of 180 to over 200°F. These objects (e.g., dashboard, steering wheel, child seat) heat the adjacent air by conduction and convection and also give off longwave radiation (red in figure below) which is very efficient at warming the air trapped inside a vehicle. Shown below are time lapse photos of thermometer readings in a car over a period of less than an hour. As the animation shows, in just over 2 minutes the car went from a safe temperature to an unsafe temperature of 94.3°F. This demonstration shows just how quickly a vehicle can become a death trap for a child.

    Objects Heated by the Sun Warm Vehicle's Air

    parked vehicle
    CLICK HERE FOR ANIMATION (700K)
    ( Hi-Res ~ 2.5 mb.WMV file)
    Individual Frames:
    0 min, 10 min, 20 min, 30 min, 40 min, 50 min, 60 min
    Animation Courtesy of General Motors and San Francisco State University. Use of this animation does not imply NWS endorsement of services provided by General Motors and San Francisco State University.

    Hyperthermia deaths aren't confined to summer months. They also happen during the spring and fall. Below are just a few of MANY tragedies.

    • Honolulu, HI, March: A 3-year-old girl died when the father left her in a child seat for 1.5 hours while he visited friends in a Waikiki apartment building. The outside temperature was only 81 degrees.
    • North Augusta, SC, April: A mother left her a 15-month-old son in a car. He was in a car for 9 hours while his mom went to work. She is now serving a 20-year prison sentence.
    • Greenville, TX, December: A 6-month-old boy died after being left in a car for more than 2 hours by his mother. She was charged with murder. The temperature rose to an unseasonably warm 81 degrees on that day.

    Adults also susceptible to hyperthermia in vehicles. On July 12, 2001, a man died of heat stroke after falling asleep in his car with the windows rolled up in the parking lot of a supermarket in Hinds County, MS.

  • 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.

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