Each year, in the U.S., about 600 people die from heat-related illnesses, and Paris EMS Director Russell Thrasher offers a few tips on how these can be avoided as temperatures are expected to ramp up over the coming weeks.
Thrasher’s number one recommendation: stay hydrated.
“Always have water on hand when outdoors,” Thrasher said. “Alternate water with Gatorade or other electrolytes.”
Thrasher also recommends taking frequent breaks, dress light and watch what’s consumed.
“It’s important that you take time to rest and get out of the hot weather,” he said. “Take time to acclimate – we didn’t have much of a Spring. Cantaloupe, watermelon, berries, tomatoes, leafy greens – all of these things are nutrition powerhouses.”
Thrasher says to also monitor the weather, use the buddy system, and “never work outside alone.”
“When the heat index tops 105, it’s time to slow down or work inside,” he said.
Signs Thrasher offers to look for to tell if someone is potentially overheating:
- Cool, moist skin with goosebumps when in the heat.
- Heavy sweating.
- Faintness, Dizziness, Fatigue.
- Weak, rapid pulse.
- Low blood pressure upon standing.
- Muscle cramps.
“Stop working, go inside where cool air is moving – even if it means walking around Wal-Mart for a while,” Thrasher said in reference to cooling off.
Potential signs fo a heatstroke include:
- Fever over 104°F
- Red, hot, DRY skin.
- Rapid, shallow breathing.
- Rapid, weak pulse.
- Irrational behavior, Extreme confusion.
- Seizures and/or Loss of consciousness.
“Tell your co-workers or family to call 9-1-1 – you need cool IV Fluid,” he said.