Help for when you're hot

From Ada City-County Emergency Management
It may be hard to think about summer heat with the below normal temperatures that have been experienced so far this year, but it looks like higher temperatures are right around the corner. The effects of summer heat vary from person to person. It is important to know your limitations and be aware of the people around you.

Small children, elderly persons, chronically ill or disabled, people taking certain types of medications and people with weight or alcohol problems are more susceptible to adverse heat reactions. Heat can kill; correct actions can save lives. Below are some heat related first aid tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

For more information on heat safety go to:

First Aid for heat related issues

Skin redness and pain, possible swelling, blisters, fever, headaches

  • Take a shower using soap to remove oils that may block pores, preventing the body from cooling naturally.
  • Apply dry, sterile dressings to any blisters, and get medical attention.

Heat cramps:
Painful spasms, usually in leg and abdominal muscles; heavy sweating

  • Get the victim to a cooler location.
  • Lightly stretch and gently massage affected muscles to relieve spasms.
  • Give sips of up to a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes. (No liquids with caffeine or alcohol.)
  • Discontinue liquids, if victim is nauseated.

Heat exhaustion:
Heavy sweating but skin may be cool, pale, or flushed. Weak pulse. Normal body temperature is possible, but temperature will likely rise. Fainting or dizziness, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, and headaches are possible.

  • Get victim to lie down in a cool place. Loosen or remove clothing. Apply cool, wet clothes. Fan or move victim to air-conditioned place. Give sips of water if victim is conscious.
  • Be sure water is consumed slowly. Give half glass of cool water every 15 minutes. Discontinue water if victim is nauseated. Seek prompt medical attention if vomiting occurs.

Heat stroke (This is a severe medical emergency):
High body temperature (105-plus); hot, red, dry skin; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid shallow breathing. Victim will probably not sweat unless victim was sweating from recent strenuous activity. Possible unconsciousness.

  • Call 9-1-1 or emergency medical services, or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal.
  • Move victim to a cooler environment. Removing clothing.
  • Use fans and air conditioners; try a cool bath, sponging, or wet sheet to reduce body temperature.
  • Watch for breathing problems.

Published 7-2-2010