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Public Safety - Fire and Rescue

Posted on: July 12, 2017

Preventing Heat Emergencies

For Additional Information:
Laura Rinehart, Public Information Officer
[email protected] or 571-233-1649
July 12, 2017

For Immediate Release:
Preventing Heat Emergencies

As the sweltering summer heat blankets our area, Loudoun County Fire and Rescue teams with the American Red Cross to remind everyone to take precautions against heat related incidents.  

Follow these simple safety measures from the American Red Cross to help avoid heat related emergencies:

* Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun's energy. It is also a good idea to wear hats or to use an umbrella.
* Drink water. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician. 

* Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid high-protein foods, which increase metabolic heat. 

* Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 and 7 a.m. 

* Stay indoors when possible. If air-conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.  Remember that electric fans do not cool, they simply circulate the air. 

* Be a good neighbor. During heat waves, check in on elderly residents in your neighborhood and those who do not have air conditioning. 

* Learn basic first aid and CPR. 

Everyone is at risk when temperatures rise above 90 degrees but the elderly and children are most susceptible to heat and heat-related illnesses.  Heat-related illnesses can cause serious injury and even death if unattended.  Signs of heat-related illnesses include nausea, dizziness, flushed or pale skin, heavy sweating and headaches.  Victims of heat-related illness should be moved to a cool place, given cool water to drink and ice packs or cool wet cloths should be applied to the skin.  If a victim refuses water, vomits or loses consciousness, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Source: American Red Cross
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