Heat Wave Safety
Extreme heat is expected over the next few days in the greater St. Charles area. Extreme heat can be dangerous, especially to infants, children, and the elderly.
Here are a few tips to keep safe during the heatwave:
- Drink plenty of fluids. Don’t wait until your thirsty, and avoid sugary, caffeinated, or alcoholic drinks. Avoid icy beverages that can cause stomach cramps.
- Heavy sweating can remove salt and minerals from your body that need to be replaced. A sports drink or snack can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
- Don’t forget about your pets. Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets and leave the water in a shady area.
- Check in on older adults and individuals with health conditions. Make sure they are drinking enough water, have access to air conditioning, and if they are showing any signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke seek emergency care immediately.
- Wear appropriate clothing: Choose lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing.
If you believe someone is suffering from a heat-related illness, you need to know what to look for and know what to do. There are different types of illness from heat, and different responses and symptoms to look for.
Heat cramps are muscle spasms, often in the abdomen, arms, or calves, and it’s caused by large loss of salt and water in the body. Look for heavy sweating during exercise, muscle pains or spasms. If this occurring, stop physical activity and move to a cooler place. Drink water or a sports drink. The cramps will need to go away before resuming activity. If the cramps last longer than one hour, get medical help right away.
Heat exhaustion is a severe heat related illness require emergency medical treatment. Look for heavy sweating, cold, pale and clammy skin, fast pulse, tiredness or weakness, dizziness, headache, and brief fainting. Move to a cooler place, put cool wet clothes on their body, use misting and fanning or take a cool bath and sip water. If vomiting occurs, symptoms get worse or last longer than one hour or confusion develops get medical help right away.
Heat stroke is the most serious medical condition caused by extreme heat. It requires immediate emergency treatment. This can result in death without immediate medical attention. Look for high body temperature (104°F or higher), hot, red, dry or damp skin, fast strong pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion and losing consciousness. Call 911 right away – heat stroke is a medical emergency. While waiting for help, move to a cooler place, try to lower body temperature with a cool or cold bath, misting, fanning or apply cool clothes, if a bath is not available. Do NOT give the person anything to drink.
We hope everyone stays safe and cool during this heat wave. Make sure to drink plenty of water!