Red Cross Issues Tips to Stay Safe this Summer as Temperatures Rise

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Summer is here, bringing with it dangerous excessive heat. The American Red Cross has steps people can follow to stay safe as the temperatures soar.

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Temperature can rise quickly as high as 19 degrees within 10 minutes.*

NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN, PETS IN THE CAR, the inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees. Other heat safety steps include:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.

    carheat1

    Within 20 minutes, the temperature reaches to an unbearable 109 degrees.* (*Graphic Courtesy of General Motors and Golden Gate Weather Services)

  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affectedby the heat.
  • Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.
  • If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should choose places to go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).

HEAT EXHAUSTION Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

If someone is experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, get them to a cooler place, have them rest, lightly stretch the affected muscle, and replenish their fluids with a half a glass (about 4 ounces) of cool water every 15 minutes.

If someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion (cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness exhaustion), move them to a cooler place, remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If they are conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

HEAT STROKE IS LIFE-THREATENING. Signs include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting and high body temperature. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.

For more information on what to do when temperatures rise, people can visit redcross.org, download the Red Cross Heat Wave Safety Checklist, or download the free Red Cross First Aid. The app is available for iPhone and Android smart phone and tablet users in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. People can learn how to treat heat-related and other emergencies by taking First Aid and CPR/AED training online or in person. Go to redcross.org/takeaclass for information and to register.

Year of Death # Fatalities
2000 1
2002 8
2003 9
2004 4
2005 12
2006 10
2007 5
2008 1
2009 8
2010 9
2011 5
2012 24

(From Wisconsin Department of Health Services)

Note: Numbers in table are totals of directly and indirectly-related heat fatalities. If heat was the primary cause of death it is a directly related heat death. If heat was a secondary or contributing cause of death it is an indirectly related heat death.

Staying Safe in Wisconsin Summer Heat

Today is Wisconsin Heat Awareness Day, a fitting title as temperatures climb into the mid-80s in the coming days. With heat and humidity comes high risk for weather-related deaths, especially among children and the elderly.

Wisconsin Emergency Management and the National Weather Service outline important steps to take to ensure your safety in the summer months. In 2011, five people in Wisconsin died of excessive heat and more than 100 were treated for heat-related symptoms.

As Northeast Wisconsin sweats it out for the coming months, here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe this summer:

  • Drink up—Staying hydrated is key to warding off heat-related health emergencies. Drink fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body.
  • Dress for the weather and wear light, loose-fitting clothing. Carry a hat or umbrella if possible.
  • Check up on friends and neighbors who don’t have air conditioning, especially if they are elderly. Find places to go during the day for relief such as schools, libraries or the mall if you don’t have air conditioning at home.
  • Avoid work outdoors if possible and take frequent breaks if you must be outside. Take a cool shower or bath when you come in from working outside or if you feel overheated.
  • Eat small meals more often to ensure you are getting proper nutrition along with hydration.  
  • Call 9-1-1 if someone is showing signs of heat stroke, which include hot, red skin, changes in consciousness, vomiting and high body temperature. Heat cramps are muscular pains that often signal the start of heat-related health problems. If someone has these symptoms, call 9-1-1 and move them into a cool place.

Wisconsin offers a multitude of options for fun this summer, and staying cool will help us all enjoy them safely. For more information on heat safety, please visit redcross.org

American Red Cross Expert’s Advise on Staying Cool in Record-breaking Heat

In recent years, excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather events, including floods. As temperatures and humidity levels soar in many parts of the country, protecting yourself and others from overheating is critical to avoid a potential heat-related illness. Here are some easy tips for staying safe during heat waves, courtesy of Dr. David Markenson, chair, American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council.

 

  • Never leave a child or pet in a parked car – even for a few minutes. The inside temperature of a car can quickly reach 120 degrees.

 

  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day – even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol that dehydrate the body.

 

  • Dress for the heat. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing in layers. Avoid dark colors that absorb the sun’s rays.

 

  • If you must work outdoors, take frequent breaks to hydrate and cool yourself. Avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.

 

  • Protect your self from sun exposure even on cloudy or hazy days. In addition to dressing for heat, apply a broad-spectrum (protection against both UVA and UVB rays) sunscreen and reapply as indicated, wear eye protection (wraparound sunglasses that provide 100 percent UV ray protection) and wear a wide-brimmed hat.

 

  • Be a good neighbor. Check in on the elderly, young children and pets to make sure they are not suffering from the heat.

 

Additional heat safety tips are available on redcross.org. Learn how to prevent and treat heat-related illnesses by attending a Red Cross First Aid course. Contact your local Red Cross or visit redcross.org/training for details or to register.

Red Cross Safety for WI Summer Heat

It took a while but Northeast Wisconsin is happy to say summer has begun. Before we have even had a chance to get used to the warm weather we must remember to be prepared for increased heat and humidity that can be dangerous for all; especially the elderly and very young.

According to Wisconsin Emergency Management, summer heatwaves have been the biggest weather-related killers in Wisconsin for the past 50 years, far exceeding tornadoes and severe storms. In 1995 two major killer heat waves affected most of Wisconsin, resulting in 154 heat-related deaths and over 300 heat-related illnesses.

Red Cross Heat Safety Tips:

  • 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 Red Cross first aid and CPR. While the above tips can help prevent emergencies, it is crucial to know what to do if an emergency situation arises.

Wisconsin Emergency Management also suggests taking a cool shower or bath if you need to cool down quickly. A shower or bath will actually work faster than an air conditioner.

Enjoy the best of the Wisconsin summer by being prepared for increased heat and humidity. Listen for weather updates and discuss safety measures with your family.  For more info on Heatwave Safety visit www.redcross.org.

PGA, Tall Ships Festival, Packers Game…..

Red Cross Offers Tips to Keep You Safe During all These Fun Outdoor Activities!

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As temperatures continue to soar across the United States, the American Red Cross encourages people to learn safety tips that will help prevent problems during one of the hottest summers on record. According to the National Weather Service, heat is the number one weather-related killer in this country, ranking higher than floods, lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes combined. Ten states are reportedly seeing a combination of excessive heat and humidity.

In addition to the blistering weather, a tropical storm warning is in effect from Florida to Louisiana, including the city of New Orleans. A storm is expected to bring three to five inches of rain to the area, with winds gusting as high as 35 mph. A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions – heavy rain and winds – are expected within the warning area in the next 36 hours. Those in the potentially affected areas can visit the preparedness section of our web site to learn how to remain safe when the storm hits. 

Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. To avoid problems during one of the hottest summers ever, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.  

Other steps you can take to be safe during the heat include: 

  • Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.  
  • Eat small meals and eat more often.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
  • Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Ensure your animals have water and a shady place to rest.

If someone is experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, get them to a cooler place, have them rest, lightly stretch the affected muscle, and replenish their fluids with a half a glass of cool water every 15 minutes.  

If someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion (cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness exhaustion), move them to a cooler place, remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If they are conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number. 

Heat stroke is life-threatening. Signs include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting; and high body temperature. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by giving care as you would for heat exhaustion. 

For more information on what to do during this heat wave, visit www.redcross.org

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.