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The original item was published from 6/13/2022 2:13:47 PM to 6/13/2022 2:19:09 PM.

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Fire Communications

Posted on: June 13, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Stay safe with the summer heat

Summer heat_250x210

Summer in Iowa is often unpredictable, but make sure you know how to deal with the stress of heat when it arrives. Even healthy people should take it easy during extremely high heat indexes. Drink extra fluids, avoid the direct sun if possible and avoid alcoholic beverages. Alcohol can accelerate dehydration.

The best ways to prevent sun stress emergency include:

  • Drink before you are thirsty and drink often.
  • Wear a sun hat to keep your neck covered and wear loose-fitting clothing.
  • Eat a healthy diet.

If you must be outdoors, know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat Exhaustion
 Heat exhaustion is a medical emergency. The person will sweat profusely and most likely will be pale. If this occurs, try to find a pool place, apply cool compresses, elevate the feet, and drink fluids.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion

  • Faint or dizzy
  • Excessive sweating
  • Cool, pale, clammy skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Muscle cramps

What to do

  • Hydrate with water or a sports drink. No alcohol.
  • Move to a cooler, air-conditioned place.
  • Lie down.
  • If vomiting continues, seem medical attention.
  • Take a cool shower or use cold compressions.
  • Remove tight-fitting clothing or extra layers.
  • Act quickly. Untreated heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke.  

Heat Stroke
If this occurs, the brain has lost its ability to regulate body temperature. The person will be hot, reddish and warm to the touch. Their temperature will be high and there will be no sweat. This is a medical emergency; call 9-1-1.

Symptoms of a heat stroke

  • Throbbing headache, confusion
  • No sweating
  • Body temperature above 103 degrees – red, hot, dry skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • May lose consciousness

The emergency care for heatstroke is to cool the body as quickly as possible.

What to do

  • Call 9-1-1. This is a medical emergency.
  • Move the person to a cooler place.
  • Do not give fluids.
  • Use cold compresses to reduce body temperature.

If you need to be out in the heat, tell someone where you are going and when they can expect you to return. In the event of a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.

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