Thursday, July 21, 2011

Seniors Staying Safe in the Extreme Heat

Waunakee Senior Center would like you all to know how to stay safe in the current weather conditions as well as what to look for and who is most at risk. 

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness.  Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to control is temperature.  Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.  Signs of heat stroke are:
  • An extremely high body temperature (above 103° F)
  • Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
Heat exhaustion is milder than heat stroke.  Heat exhaustion can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids.  Signs of heat exhaustion are:
  • Heavy Sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Dizzniness
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Skin: may be cool and moist
  • Pule rate: fast and weak
  • Breathing: fast and shallow
The best way to protect yourself are:
  • Drink cool nonalcoholic beverages
  • Rest
  • Take a cool shower
  • If possible seek an air conditioned environment
  • Wear lightweight clothing
  • Do not engage in strenuous activities
If you see any signs of sever heat stress, this could be a life threatening emergency.  Call for immediate medical assistance while trying to cool the person.  Try to get them a shady area, cool the person rapidly by using a water source.