Sunday, August 12, 2007

Keep your cool in HOT weather!



Hi Friends:
I'ts been too HOT everywhere lately,
Especially Texas and the Midwest ! I'm trying to keep my cool...I found this great information! Read it, you might save a life, even your OWN!!

What You Should Know About Heat Waves…
Hot, humid summer days can be dangerous to the health of adults. Heat stress is the burden that hot weather places on your body, especially your heart. If the burden is too great, heat can make you very sick or even kill you.

It's important to keep several facts about hot weather and the heat in mind:

Your body needs time to adjust to hot weather, so the risk of heat illness is greater when a sudden increase in temperature occurs (like a heat wave), leaving your body unprepared for the strain.

Your chances of getting sick in hot weather are increased by: a weak or damaged heart, hypertension, problems with circulation, diabetes, a previous stroke, overweight, infection or fever, diarrhea, drinking alcoholic beverages and skin diseases or sunburn.

Many prescription drugs can make you much more vulnerable to the heat. If you take medicine for high blood pressure, nervousness, depression, poor circulation or sleeping – ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Temperatures above 90 degrees can be very dangerous, especially when the humidity is also high. Whatever the temperature, if you feel hot and uncomfortable, take steps to avoid heat stress. Heat stress can cause many medical problems including heat exhaustion, heat stroke, heart failure and stroke. Proper precautions can make you more comfortable, prevent illness and even save your life.

HOT SUMMER WEATHER Q & A
Are You Ready for the HOT Summer Weather?

What is a HEAT WAVE?
Generally, a heat wave is three straight days of temperatures of 90° or more with high humidity. High temperatures and high humidity determine the heat index.

What is a HEAT INDEX?
A heat index in summer is similar to the wind chill factor in winter. The temperature on a winter's day might be 20°, but wind could make it feel like it is zero. The body reacts to the zero degree temperature.
In summer, HUMIDITY, not wind, makes it feel hotter. Relative humidity combines with temperature to make up the heat index. If the temperature is 95° and the relative humidity is 85 percent, it will feel like it is 113°. The body will react to the 113° temperature. Humidity above 60 percent makes the body feel 10-20 degrees hotter.

Is a HEAT WAVE really DANGEROUS?
Yes. Heat waves are the second leading cause of death among weather-related events. Only the cold of winter causes more deaths than heat. Heat kills more people each year than floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes. Yet heat gets very little attention – especially among the people who need to be the most concerned -- OLDER ADULTS.

Who is at risk of a HEAT-RELATED ILLNESS?
Older adults, especially those with medical conditions; small children; people with weight and alcohol problems; those with chronic disabilities; and those on medication are at risk of heat-related illness.
People living in highly populated areas, like inner cities, are at risk. Concrete and asphalt retain heat.

**IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS AT RISK PLEASE CHECK ON HIM OR HER FREQUENTLY. ONE VISIT COULD MEAN LIFE OR DEATH FOR SOMEONE.**

Why are HEAT WAVES dangerous for OLDER PEOPLE?

As we become older we begin to lose the layers of fat in our bodies that act like insulation. One of the results is that the ability to control our temperature is weakened. In fact, we might not even feel hot; We lose the ability to sweat as we get older. It is the sweat that carries away large amounts of heat in our bodies; and If our body's cooling system is already weakened, our heart has to take up the extra work. So, older people with heart conditions are very vulnerable to heatstroke or heat exhaustion.

How can YOU keep COOL?
KEEP COOL by spending as much time as you can in cooler surroundings -- a cooler room in your home, an air-conditioned shopping mall, senior center, public library or movie theater. Even a few hours a day in air conditioning is important.

KEEP SHADES AND DRAPES CLOSED in the early morning to keep the cooler night air inside the house.
USE AIR CONDITIONING. It can provide lifesaving relief from heat stress, especially if you have a medical condition like heart disease.

GET COOL WITH FANS. Fans draw cool air into your home at night and help to provide good indoor air circulation during the day. Air movement reduces heat stress by helping to remove extra body heat. . Fans do not cool the air, but they do help sweat evaporate, which cools your body.
**Fans, however, can be very dangerous if you use them in a closed room when the temperature outside is very hot.**

TAKE COOL BATHS AND SHOWERS. Cool water temperatures will cool your body 25 times faster than cool air.

WEAR LIGHTWEIGHT, LIGHT COLORED, LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING to keep you cool. Also wear a hat or use an umbrella to protect your head and neck when you are outdoors.

DRINK LIQUIDS OFTEN and don't wait till you are thirsty. Your body needs more fluid than thirst will indicate. By the time you feel thirsty you may already be dangerously low on water. WATER is the safest liquid to drink during extreme heat. Drink often and in reasonable amounts. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. They can make you feel good briefly, but make the heat's effects on your body worse. If you have a disease, medical condition, or a problem with body water balance, check with your doctor for advice on how much water you should drink in hot weather.

SLOW DOWN by taking it easy and avoiding strenuous activities.

WATCH WHAT YOU EAT by avoiding hot foods and heavy meals. They add heat to your body. Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increase metabolic heat. Don't increase your salt intake or take salt tablets without your doctor's permission.

If people have a heat emergency, they should call 911. State and county governments, and local Area Agencies on Aging have procedures to follow when the National Weather Service issues an advisory, watch or warning.

WARNING SIGNS OF HEAT ILLNESS

Hot weather makes most people uncomfortable, and can cause a lack of energy or a slight loss of appetite. These are early warning signs of heat stress; and unless they last a long time, there is no need to be alarmed.

If you experience any of the following serious signs during hot weather, call your doctor or seek medical help immediately.

Dizziness
Rapid heartbeat
Diarrhea
Nausea
Throbbing headache
Dry skin Chest pain
Great weakness
Mental Changes
Breathing problems
Vomiting
Cramps

Heat-Related Illnesses and What to do…
These illnesses signal a heat emergency and serious illness, you should contact your doctor if you have…

Heat Cramps – Indicated by heavy sweating and painful spasms in the muscles of the legs and abdomen.
Get the person to a cooler place and have him/her rest in a comfortable position. Lightly stretch the affected muscle and replenish fluids. Do not give liquids with alcohol or caffeine in them.
Heat Exhaustion – Indicated by heavy sweating, weakness; skin that is pale; cold and clammy skin; light pulse; fainting; or vomiting.
Get the person out of the heat and into a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths. If the person is conscious, give cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Do not give liquids that contain alcohol or caffeine. Watch carefully for changes in his/her condition.
Heat Stroke – Indicated by high body temperature (106° or higher); hot, dry skin; rapid and strong pulse; and possible unconsciousness.
This is life threatening! Helps is needed FAST! Call 911 or your local emergency number. Move the person to a cooler place and quickly cool the body. Immerse him/her in a cool bath or wrap wet sheets around the body. Keep the person lying down and continue to cool the body any way you can.

*Note, Some Information was provided by the American Red Cross.

Take Care Everyone! Let your friends know about this info!
Love you guys, stay cool...... Bunni

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

thanx bunni, that's some good info...i know this weather wears me out...take care

Snoopy & Jessica said...

Hi Bunni! Great Blog!! Somehow we missed the link on your page but we have it saved now. Great Info! It has been super hot down here, we hardly go outside. Well we liked your blog, we are off to read the rest of them! :)

Amusing Bunni said...

Thank you so much, Snoopy & Jessica! I'm glad you liked it, keep cool, esp. cute little Snoopy, he has a fur coat, after all ;-) Love you guys, Bunni

pegasus0924 said...

Thanks Bunni for the information! It sure will come in handy. It's super hot in Pennsylvania too and now we know other ways to deal with it besides staying in the AC all day. Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work =)

Missy & Jada

Amusing Bunni said...

Hi Missy & Jada! Thanks for your wonderful comment, I see you're on Blogger too! Let me know when your profile is set up, and I'll read & Comment Yours! Love you guys, Bunni

Pancho said...

Take it from me. A great way to stay cool is to dig a hole in the dirt and sit in it. Especially in the shade. I do it all the time.

Amusing Bunni said...

HiYa Pancho! Thanks for visiting and leaving your suggestion. You must be psychic, because I was doing that very thing this morning in my yard! I was watering the flowers and pulling weeds, and I dug a hole to put a new plant in...I was sitting on a chair, however. I don't like getting my bunny buns dirty...BOL!

Mandy said...

People should read this.

Amusing Bunni said...

Hi Mandy:

Thank you for the compliment.
Although it's getting cold in Chicago now, my friends in warmer areas can always benefit from this knowledge!

If you live in cold area's, re-read my post from last winter about dangerous cold!
We have them ALL here in the windy city!

~ The Bunni

Use it while you have it!


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