HFD Chief offers extreme heat safety guidance

Be aware of heat-related illness
HFD Chief offers extreme heat safety guidance
Published: Jul. 21, 2020 at 9:25 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — The extreme temperatures we are dealing with are not just uncomfortable, they can easily be dangerous.

Harrisonburg Fire Chief Matt Tobia spoke with WHSV Daybreak anchor Whitney Turner Tuesday morning to share information about staying safe in the summer heat.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management offers these suggestions:

Never leave a child, adult, or animal alone inside a vehicle on a warm day.

Check yourself, family members, and neighbors for signs of heat-related illness.

Find places in your community where you can go to get cool.

Try to keep your home cool:

Cover windows with drapes or shades.

Weather-strip doors and windows.

Use window reflectors such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard to reflect heat back outside.

There are multiple types of heat-related illness:

HEAT CRAMPS

Signs: Muscle pains or spasms in the stomach, arms, or legs

Actions: Go to a cooler location. Remove excess clothing. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if cramps last more than an hour.

HEAT EXHAUSTION

Signs: Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, or fainting

Actions: Go to an air-conditioned place and lie down. Loosen or remove clothing. Take a cool bath. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.

HEAT STROKE

Signs: Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees) taken orally; red, hot, and dry skin with no sweat; rapid, strong pulse; dizziness; confusion; or unconsciousness

Actions: Call 911 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives.

What can you do to keep your body temperature down?

If you're outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.

Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.

Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.

Do not use electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees, as this could increase the risk of heat-related illness.

Avoid high-energy activities.

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