Peggy Kiefer

Grove Sun

The good news is there might be a thunderstorm or two on Friday and Saturday. The bad news is the heat index will stay in the 100 degree range with dangerous heat potential and very high fire weather potential. Delaware County remains under a burn ban for another week.

According to the National Weather Service, the overall weather pattern does not appear to change significantly through the middle of next week. That means excessive

heat and elevated afternoon fire danger will continue for most of this period. The heat index will remain in the 105 to 112 range with overnight lows only in the high 70ís and lower 80ís. NWS recommends taking extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water,

and know the signs of heat stroke or heat related illnesses (see the recommendations from Red Cross at the end of this story).

To reduce risk if you have to work outdoors, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency call 911.

The American Red Cross recommends the following for heat related illness: Heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, can be problems for people enjoying outdoor activities in the hot summer months. Those most susceptible to heat related illnesses are children, the elderly, and people working or exercising

in a hot environment. A heat-related illness occurs when the body is not able to regulate and control its temperature. As the air temperature rises, your body stays cool by letting heat escape through the skin and by evaporating sweat (perspiration).

On hot, humid days, the evaporation of sweat is slowed by the increased moisture in the air. When the body isnít cooled properly, your body temperature rises, and you may become ill. If left untreated, a heat-related illness can lead to serious complications, even death.

However, most heat-related illnesses can be prevented. What are heat cramps? Heat cramps are the least severe and often are the first signals that the body is having trouble with the heat. Heat cramps are painful muscle spasms that result from overheating. They usually occur in the legs and abdomen.

How do I give care for heat cramps?

To care for heat cramps, have the person rest in a cool place. Give them cool water or a commercial sports drink. Usually, rest and fluids are all the person will need to recover. Lightly stretch the muscle and gently massage the area. Do not give the person salt tablets or salt water. They can make the situation worse.

What is heat exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion is a heat related illness that can develop after exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. It typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a warm, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating and the sweat does not evaporate as it should.

Know the symptoms

Cool, moist, pale, ashen or flushed skin

Headache

Dizziness

Nausea

Weakness or exhaustion

Heavy sweating

What should I do if I think I have heat exhaustion?

If you think you have heat exhaustion, get out of the heat quickly. Rest in a cool, shady place and drink small amounts of cool water or other replenishing fluids. Loosen or remove clothing and apply wet cloths. Have someone call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number if your condition does not improve, you are unable to drink water or you start vomiting. If heat exhaustion is not treated it can progress to a worse condition; heat stroke.

What is heat stroke?

Heat stroke is the least common, but most severe heat related illness. It results from the total failure of the bodyís heat regulation system. This occurs when the bodyís temperature rises rapidly, the sweating system fails and the body cannot cool down. Heat stroke is a medical emergency. It can cause permanent disability or even death.

Know the symptoms

Red skin that can either be dry or moist Changes in consciousness Rapid, weak pulse Rapid, shallow breathing

What should I do if I think someone has heat stroke?

Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition. If you think someone might have heatstroke, have someone call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number right away.