Many Americans are not prepared for heat waves—record-breaking or otherwise—this early in the year. This heat wave is reaching temperatures that are typically recorded in July!
So what can you do to protect yourself during the heat? The big thing is to find cool places to stay during the day to avoid the heat’s height and stay hydrated. Many cities and towns open cooling centers during the summer to help residents stave off the heat—check your local rec center for more information.
It’s essential not to go outside for an extended time during heat waves.
During warmer months, one common ailment people experience outside is heat stroke. According to The Mayo Clinic, these are the warning signs of heat stroke:
- A core body temperature of 104℉ or 40℃
- Red or flushed skin
- Upset stomach, nausea, or vomiting
- Confusion, agitation, delirium, and other signs of an altered mental state
- Increased pulse or racing heart rate
- Shallow, rapid breathing
In our summer safety guide, safety expert Rebecca Edwards explains what to do if you think someone is experiencing heat stroke:
- First, get help immediately. Call 911, and take measures to cool the person down.
- Get the person out of the heat.
- Take off any extra clothing.
- Use cool water to bring down the core body temperature (place them in a tub or shower, use a hose, mist them with cool water, or use ice packs. Or apply cold towels to the back of the neck, head, armpits, and groin).
With climate change increasing our planet’s global temperature, extreme weather events and heat waves will be more common in the warmer months. It’s essential to exercise caution when outdoors and to stay safe.