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Extra Caution in Extreme Heat

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is reminding Hoosiers that overexposure to summer heat can be hazardous to humans and animals. In fact, temperatures inside vehicles can quickly escalate to triple digits -- in 70-degree weather and above.  Here's more info to help Region residents stay safe in the extreme heat...

From the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) :
According to the National Weather Service, heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States, causing more fatalities per year than floods, lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes.

IDHS coordinates the training and certification of all emergency medical services personnel in Indiana, and oversees the regular inspection of all emergency medical transports.

The following tips can help you cope with the heat.
What to do during extreme heat

Stay out of the heat as much as possible, preferably in an air conditioned environment.
Drink plenty of water (avoid alcoholic or carbonated beverages.)
Slow down from your normal pace.
Spend time in air conditioning, even for brief periods.
Draw shades, blinds, and curtains in rooms exposed to direct sunlight.
Cool down with cool baths or showers.
Wear loose-fitting, light colored clothing.
Wear proper SPF sunscreen for your skin type when outside.
Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
 

Activities to avoid
Avoid prolonged exposure to high temperatures.
Never leave animals, children, or the elderly inside a vehicle -- even if the vehicle is only being left for a minute and the windows are rolled down.
Avoid leaving animals outside, but if you must, provide adequate shade and lots of water.
 

The elderly, very young and those with respiratory conditions are most susceptible to serious heat related illnesses. When appropriate, check in regularly with family members and neighbors who may not have air conditioning.

If air conditioning is not available at home, Hoosiers should try to spend some time each day in an air conditioned public facility such as a library, shopping center, community center, theatre, etc. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Check locally to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.

Heat related illnesses can happen quickly and be deadly. Be aware of the symptoms and how to help someone suffering from heat illnesses.

 Symptoms of Heat Related Illness

§  Muscle cramps

§  Body temperature over 102°F

§  Flushed looking appearance

§  Nausea and vomiting

§  Weakness

§  Fatigue

§  Faint feeling

§  Diarrhea

§  Headache

§  Unresponsiveness, or seizures

Someone suffering from heat related illness should be moved to a cool place to rest and drink water or a sports drink (nothing carbonated). Cool, wet washcloths or icepacks will help with recovery. If there is no improvement, the body won’t temperature go down, or the person won’t take fluids, go to the emergency room immediately or call 911.

For more extreme heat safety tips, visit www.GetPrepared.in.gov

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More safety information from Alijah Hunter, Michigan City Animal Control:

6-28-2012 2-36-07 PM

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