EMSA Gives Tips On Staying Safe During Hot Weather - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Oklahoma EMSA Gives Tips On Staying Safe During Hot Weather

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As summer approaches and temperatures get higher in Oklahoma, the risk of Oklahomans suffering from heat exhaustion and other heat-related emergencies is also increased.

EMSA officials in Oklahoma are giving several tips to help Oklahomans stay safe during the hot weather. Especially as temperatures rise during this Memorial Day weekend, officials are asking citizens to take precautions and prepare for the heat.

EMSA officials say one of the best ways to avoid heat exhaustion is to stay hydrated, and drink plenty of water during the hot weather.

Tips on drinking water:

• Paramedics advise drinking eight to nine cups of fluid a day and even more if you're going to be in the summer heat.

• Begin drinking water hours before you go outside. When it's really hot it's best to stay away from liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar.

• If you drink enough fluids that you rarely feel thirsty, your body is telling you that you're on the right track.

Tips on staying safe during hot weather:

• Know the warning signs of heat stroke. These include an extremely high body temperature of above 103° F; red, hot and dry skin with no sweating; rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; and unconsciousness.

• Never leave a child, elderly person or pet unattended in a motor vehicle, even with a window slightly open.

• Those at the greatest risk for heat-related illness include infants, children up to four years old, adults age 65 and older, people who are overweight, people who are ill and those on certain medications.

• During hot weather, drink more liquid than your thirst indicates. Avoid drinks containing alcohol or caffeine because they will cause you to lose more fluid.

• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

• Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to going outdoors and continue to reapply periodically.

• Some medications can increase the risk of heat-related illness. The risk may increase for those using psychotropics (e.g. haloperidol or chlorpromazine), medications for Parkinson's Disease because they can inhibit perspiration, and tranquilizers (e.g. phenothiazines, butyrophenones and thiozanthenes.)

• Drink water frequently.

• Keep the back of your neck in shade (wear a cap backwards, or raise your collar) or put a wet handkerchief on the back of the neck.

• Place or tie an icepack behind your head.

• Wet all your hair, or just all along the hairline in a pinch. 

• Wear a bandanna with water soaked on it and put it on your head. Or you can relive the 80's and wear a wet terrycloth headband on your forehead.

• Try using a water misting fan.

• Soak a t-shirt in the sink, wring it out and put it on. Sit in a lawn chair (or other chair that lets air through to you) in front of a fan. Re-wet as it dries. Use lukewarm water for this so you don't "shock" your system with cold water.

• Wear a short sleeved shirt and put water on the sleeves only. If there is a breeze or fan blowing on you, you can actually get cold! Use a squirt bottle, the sink or hose if outside to keep your sleeves wet. If you are outside and wearing long pants and you put water on your legs, the water will cool your legs. Long skirts are also good for this. Just sprinkle the hemline with water.

• Run cold water over your wrists for 10 seconds on each hand. This will reduce your temperature for roughly an hour. 

• Soak your feet in a bucket of cold water. The body radiates heat from the hands, feet, face and ears, so cooling any of these will efficiently cool the body. Kids wading pools are great for adults feet too.

What to do if you see someone with the warning signs of a heat stroke:

• Call 9-1-1 immediately.

• Move the victim to a shady area.

• Cool the victim rapidly using whatever methods you can – immerse the person in a cool shower or bath, spray with cool water from a garden hose, sponge the person with cool water, or if the humidity is low, wrap the victim in a wet sheet and fan him/her vigorously.

• Monitor body temperature and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101°-102° F.

According to officials, every summer, hundreds of Oklahomans will suffer symptoms of heat exhaustion and the more serious, heat stroke. The heat can cause dizziness, loss of consciousness, and even death.

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