Millions of people across the country are dealing with extremely hot temperatures and stifling humidity. These dangerous temps can pose serious health risks, especially for those who are elderly or have chronic medical issues.
According to the National Weather Service, heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States. Even with very little exposure, hot weather can still impact the body.
Your body responds to the heat by trying to cool itself. But if it’s too hot outside, you end up sweating away too much fluid and essential minerals, and that can lead to dehydration.
Other heat related illnesses include heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
The CDC says heat cramps may be the first sign that something is wrong and can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. It’s recommended that you seek medical attention if the heat cramps last longer than an hour.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, weakness, clammy skin, fast and weak pulse, muscle cramps, dizziness, headache, and nausea. If a person vomits, call a doctor.
Heat stroke can be deadly. It often occurs by ignoring the signs of heat exhaustion.
The CDC urges you to take someone to the hospital immediately if they show signs of heat stroke. Symptoms include throbbing headache, confusion, dizziness, temperature above 103 degrees, rapid and strong pulse, fainting or loss of consciousness.
People Most Likely at Risk
Anyone who is outside in hot weather is at risk for developing a heat-related illness. But certain groups are more vulnerable. The American Red Cross lists those individuals as adults 65 and older, anyone with a chronic medical condition, people who work outside, infants and children, and athletes.
The Red Cross also notes that certain medications can increase the risk of heat-related illness. “People with heart disease, poor blood circulation, obesity and mental illness are at risk for getting sick of the temperatures climb.”
Heat Safety Tips
NWS, Red Cross and CDC all offer a variety of helpful tips to stay safe in the heat.
- Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Spend more time in air conditioned buildings. If you don’t have it at your house, go to a library, movie theater, mall or store to stay cool.
- Check on neighbors, friends and family who do not have air conditioning, who are often alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Postpone outdoor games and activities. Avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
- Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can get extremely hot very quickly.
- Check on animals to make sure they have plenty of cool water and are comfortable.
About Advena Living
While we love spending time outside as much as everyone else, we follow safety precautions when it comes to unbearably hot weather to protect our community members. When it’s safe to do so, we encourage residents to get outside and socialize, garden or breathe in the fresh air.
At Advena Living, we believe it’s important for community members to feel at home. Everyone should be able to have a say in decisions that affect them, from their schedules to their care needs.
We are a family-based company in Manhattan, KS that specializes in skilled nursing, long-term care, rehabilitation and assisted living services throughout the state. Our name “Advena” means newcomer. We welcome newcomers seeking a senior living environment where they may continue to enjoy a full life, and where their personal choices are respected and upheld.