Red Cross Summer Heat Safety
Arizona’s temperatures regularly hit triple digits in July and August. “Excessive heat can be deadly; we want everyone to stay safe during hot weather and have some important reminders for them to follow, says Beth Boyd, Red Cross regional disaster officer for the Arizona-New Mexico-El Paso region.
To help prepare you for the onslaught of high heat, here are some guidelines for what to do and how to care for heat-related emergencies from the Red Cross.
Typically involves the loss of body fluids through heavy sweating during strenuous exercise or physical labor in high heat and humidity. Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, and exhaustion.
Move the person to a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet towels to the skin. Fan the person. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 911 or a local emergency number.
Heat Stroke (also known as sunstroke)
A life-threatening condition in which a person’s temperature control system stops working and the body is unable to cool itself. Signs of heat stroke include hot, red skin, which may be dry or moist, changes in consciousness, vomiting, and high body temperature.
Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by giving care as you would for heat exhaustion. If needed, continue rapid cooling by applying ice or cold packs wrapped in a cloth to the wrists, ankles, groin, neck, and armpits. Heat stroke is life threatening. Call 911 immediately.