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Avoiding Heat Stroke... Stay Safe in the Heat


 

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The heat is finally here. You can officially say it's summer in Arkansas. While most of us were pretty happy with mid 70's and low 80's for high temperatures, let's face it...we live in the Mid South. If you don't like the weather, stick around for a bit; it'll change. With the heat comes heat related problems. Here are some things to think about while trying to work and have fun in Craighead County during July.

One of the leading causes for ER visits for kids in July is heat exhaustion. While most of us adults know to stay hydrated, take extra breaks and work before the heat of the day, kids haven't figured that out. They also don't know to look for the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. 

Here are the signs of heat exhaustion:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Muscle or abdominal cramps
  • Dark colored urine (signs of dehydration)
  • Pale skin
  • Profuse sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat

Heat exhaustion can progress into heat stroke very quickly if proper measures are not taken to intervene. First, get out of the heat, preferably in an air conditioned area. Drink plenty of fluids that will include electrolytes. Remove tight or restrictive clothing, and if possible, take a cool shower. Cooling towels can be used to replace the shower if that option is unavailable. 

Heat stroke can be fatal! Medical intervention is the best course of treatment for those suspected of heat stroke. The symptoms are similar to heat exhaustion, but there are some very important differences. If you have a doubt, better to err on the side of caution. Here are some of the signs someone may be suffering of a possible heat stroke event.

  • Feverishly hot skin, a body temperature of 105*
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Throbbing headache
  • Lack of sweating, even though there is extreme heat
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid or shallow breathing
  • Behavioral changes
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness 

It is important to begin cooling down the victim as soon as possible, even before they are transported to the hospital. This is much like CPR for those that aren't breathing; the cooling down of the core temperature is life saving and must be done immediately. 

Visit www.RedCross.com for more tips on staying safe in the heat. Keep an eye out for the kids and the adults during the summer, because it's not looking like it's going to cool down any time soon. 

Thank you,
Sheriff Marty Boyd

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Western District Office • 901 Willett Rd. • Jonesboro, Arkansas 72401 • 870-933-4551
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