Summer is here and the temperatures are rapidly rising.
SVFD Fire Chief, Bryan Collins is concerned about the increasing summer heat and your health safety. This summer stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay informed.
Summer heat can be very dangerous for people of all ages, and pets too. The danger can be amplified for those in enclosed spaces such as vehicles and RVs. If a person cannot regulate a healthy body temperature, due to prolonged exposure or physical exertion in high temperatures, heatstroke can occur. Being aware and take precautions that can prevent injury or death due to extreme heat.
What is heatstroke?
Heatstroke is the most serious form of heat injury after heat exhaustion and sunburn, and it requires emergency care. When a person’s body temperature becomes too hot (rising to over 103º F), the brain and internal organs can become damaged or shut down, leading to death.
Babies, children, older people, people with certain disabilities or conditions, and pets are especially at risk because their body temperatures may rise very fast and they may be unable (or relying on a caregiver) to seek cooler temperatures or ask for help. Anyone experiencing heatstroke may become helpless if they are weak, disoriented, vomiting, or passing out from the effects of heat.
Heatstroke is a medical emergency. Please call 9-1-1 if a person is experiencing these symptoms:
high body temperature (103º F or higher)
hot, red, or dry skin
fast, strong pulse
Heat exhaustion is a heat-related injury that can lead to heatstroke. People with heat exhaustion experience these signs and symptoms and should also seek medical care:
cold, pale and clammy skin
fast, weak pulse
nausea or vomiting
tiredness or weakness
fainting (passing out)
If you notice signs of heat exhaustion, take quick actions to move yourself or others to a cooler place, loosen clothes, place cool cloths on the body, take a cool bath, or take sips of water. If the symptoms do not go away after the person cools down, or if the person is vomiting, disoriented, or passing out, call 9-1-1 immediately for emergency medical care.
How to prevent heat-related illnesses:
Stay cool, stay hydrated. If you can, avoid spending much time in direct sun during the hottest parts of the day. In your home, use air conditioning or fans to keep cool air circulating. Dress for the weather and plan any strenuous outdoor activities for morning or evening, when the day is cooler. Take breaks from the sunshine or physical activity, and drink plenty of water. Water will hydrate, while caffeine or alcohol may deplete your system. Pets should have shade and water always available.
Never leave kids or dogs in the car. Babies, children, and pets are sometimes temporarily left or forgotten in vehicles and discovered when it’s too late. Deaths have occurred with the windows cracked open and even when left with air-conditioning running. Temperatures inside vehicles rise very quickly and overwhelm small bodies. Consider locking parked vehicles and RVs to prevent access by children who may climb inside. Read more about preventing heatstroke in children: https://www.safekids.org/heatstroke.
Check on your friends, family, and neighbors. The summer heat can be a difficult and uncomfortable for many people, depending on their health and living conditions. Check in with those around you and those you care about to ask how they are doing with the heat. Offer water or encourage others to stay hydrated. Be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness and take swift action to assist.