“It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”
It’s the heat and the humidity.
Michael Kronick — who as Westport fire chief and emergency management director knows a thing or two about hot temperatures — says:
The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for the region. The heat index over the next several days will be dangerous. We encourage residents to take precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones, and check on elderly friends, relatives and neighbors.
Prolonged exposure to heat can lead to dehydration, overheating, heat illness and even death. It is important to pay attention to the weather if spending time outside working or participating in recreation activities.
Parents should never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, not even for a few minutes; temperatures inside a car rapidly increase and can reach dangerous and fatal temperatures in as little as 10 minutes. Approximately 38 children under the age of 15 die each year from heatstroke after being left in a vehicle.
Symptoms of heat-related illness include muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, fainting, headaches, nausea and vomiting. Children, adults 65 and older, those without access to air conditioning, outdoor workers and those with chronic health conditions are most vulnerable.
To reduce the risk of heat-related illness:
- Increase fluid intake.
- Take frequent breaks in cool and shady or air-conditioned places if spending extended time outside.
- Reduce normal activity levels.
- Speak with your physician about how to stay safe if you take medicines that make you more vulnerable to heat, such as tranquilizers or drugs for high blood pressure, migraines, allergies, muscle spasms and mental illness.
- Check on neighbors, and if working outdoors, check on your co-workers.
- Never leave children or pets unattended in vehicles, especially during warm or hot weather, as temperature levels inside a car can reach a deadly level in a matter of minutes
Heat exposure can be life threatening. Should any of the following occur, get out of the heat, loosen any tight or heavy clothing, and drink plenty of water:
- Heat cramps: symptoms include painful muscle spasms, usually involving the abdominal muscles or legs
- Heat exhaustion: first signs are cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, dizziness, nausea, headache and weakness
- Heat stroke: the most serious sign of overexposure. Symptoms include red, hot, dry skin, weak pulse, rapid breathing and changes in consciousness. Seek medical attention by calling 911.
The ASPCA recommends that you give your pets plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors. Pets should have a shady place to get out of the sun. Be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot. Never let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Pet owners must not leave pets unattended in vehicles or outdoors.”
If you or someone you know experiences heat-related illness, move to a cool place, drink water, place cold cloths on the body and seek medical attention.For additional safety tips and information, please click here.
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