Staying safe in the summer heat, watch out for heat-related illness

Weather Stories

The heat and humidity make for a dangerous combination during this time of year, as seen with our first heat advisories of the year this weekend and first excessive heat warning today. To stay safe during these hot days and humid nights, it is important to first be hydrated. Water is the best thing for your body, but if you are going to be doing strenuous outdoor activities, something with electrolytes will help you recover faster. Wearing sunscreen and loose, light-fitting clothing can also help your body remain cool during the hot and humid afternoons. If you don’t have to be outdoors during the heat of the day, usually between 11 am and 4 pm, inside is your best option. If you do have to be outside, make sure you take plenty of breaks and try to be outside in the early morning and late afternoon when it is cooler.

There are two stages of heat related illness. The first step is heat exhaustion where you start to feel dizzy or faint, your skin is cool and clammy to the touch, you are excessively sweating like you can’t cool down, and you can develop muscle cramps. If you experience any of these symptoms, cool off and drink water immediately. Heading inside and sitting down to let your body cool down is your best option. If you take immediate action, your body can recover on its own in a few minutes.

If you push your body too far in the heat, you can suffer a heat stroke. A heat stroke shows its symptoms as a headache, skin that is hot and dry to the touch, you could lose consciousness, and the main symptom people usually notice is that you actually stop sweating. If this happens, your body is in immediate danger of major injury, and you should call 911. 

Not only do you have to watch out for your body, also watch your kids and pets. When the air temperature is 95 degrees, the concrete has a temperature of 125 degrees and asphalt has a temperature of 140 degrees. At 140 degrees, bare skin from your feet and your pets’ paws can burn in under one minute. Be sure to walk your pets early or late in the day to avoid hot surfaces and make sure you and your children have shoes on when you go outside.

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