Beating the heat: What you can do to stay safe through hot temps - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Beating the heat: What you can do to stay safe through hot temps

Hot temperatures can become deadly if you don't know how to beat the heat. Hot temperatures can become deadly if you don't know how to beat the heat.

Hot temperatures can become deadly if you don't know how to beat the heat. It can be especially dangerous for adults over the age of 65, young children, people dealing with chronic illnesses like heart disease, and those without access to air conditioning.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these tips to stay cool:

  • Find an air-conditioned shelter.
  • Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device.
  • Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Take cool showers or baths.
  • Check on those most at-risk twice a day.
  • Drink more water than usual.
  • Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink more fluids.
  • Drink from two to four cups of water every hour while working or exercising outside.
  • Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar.
  • Remind others to drink enough water.

Heat related illnesses are also a concern when the temperatures turn hot. Experts say it can start with muscle cramping and then quickly escalate.

According to the CDC, heat exhaustion and heat stroke come soon after. Here is a list of some symptoms to look out for and what you should do if you or anyone else experiences these signs:

Heat Exhaustion

  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting

What you should do:

  • Move to a cooler location.
  • Lie down and loosen your clothing.
  • Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible.
  • Sip water.
  • If you have vomited and it continues, seek medical attention immediately.

Heat Stroke

  • High body temperature (above 103°F)*
  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin
  • Rapid and strong pulse
  • Possible unconsciousness

What you should do:

  • Call 911 immediately — this is a medical emergency.
  • Move the person to a cooler environment.
  • Reduce the person's body temperature with cool cloths or even a bath.
  • Do NOT give fluids.

Pets are also susceptible to the heat, experiencing a heat stroke if they can't get cool.

Eliza Ruffner with Surf City Pet Hospital says it only takes a matter of minutes for your pet to overheat.

"It's an extremely emergency situation," Ruffner said. "The faster you can get to a veterinarian the better…hose your animal down, try to put a fan on them, if you have rubbing alcohol put it on their paw pads. It can help cool them down pretty quickly."

Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.

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