Hot Weather Calls for Cool Measures

Highs in the low hundred degree range means we have to take extra precautions for our health, especially for elderly adults and youngsters.  The National Weather Service has forecast several days in the upper 90 and 100 degree range this week, and there will be more hot days to come this summer. 

The best defense is prevention and making sure you’re aware of the dangers of extreme heat:

 Drink more fluids, but stay away from alcohol, caffeine and sugar-loaded drinks.

Stay inside, near air-conditioning if possible.  If you have none, visit a library or community building to cool off.  Contact the county nurse’s office for information about keeping cool.  The Prowers County Nurses office can be reached at 719-336-8721. 

Take a cool shower or bath.

Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.

Never leave anyone, pets or humans, in a closed, parked vehicle, even if it’s parked in shade.

The elderly have problems adjusting to higher temperatures.  They may have a medical condition that can be made worse in high heat situations.  Check on them regularly.

Don’t neglect animals.  Make sure your pets receive enough water.

If you will be outside for work or play, take breaks, sit in shady areas, use sunscreen, wear a hat, drink water or a sports beverage to replace lost salt and minerals from sweating. 

Heat Related Illnesses: 

We can suffer from various degrees of heat related illness:  heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat stress.  All can be a threat to your health. 

Heat stroke develops when the body can no longer sweat and cool down.  Body temperatures can rise to the low 100’s in under a half hour.  Emergency treatment will be required. 

Warning signs include:  High body temperature; hot and dry skin; rapid pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness and nausea. 

Heat Exhaustion is a milder form that takes longer to become apparent due to high temperatures and need for a balanced replacement of fluids.

Warning signs include:

Heavy sweating; paleness; muscle cramps; dizziness; tiredness; fainting; nausea, cool and moist skin; fast and shallow breathing. 

Heat Stress should also be taken seriously.  Severe heat stress can be a life threatening situation.  Get the person into the shade, cool their body by any means possible, a shower, water from a hose, sponge them down, cool them off using fans on wet cloths on their body. 

A medical provider should be contacted immediately for treatment.  If none are available, phone 911 or a treatment center for advice on how to help the person.   

In a related safety measure, if children are going to play with a hose that’s been left in the sun, run the water for several moments to clear any sun-heated water in the hose. 


Filed Under: communityEducationHealthPublic SafetyRecreationSportsWeather


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.