Awe…the Texas summers I remember as a kid. Playing all day in the sun, watermelon seed spitting contests, swimming holes and backyard cookouts. As an adult, summer brings the stress of planning family road trips, pool safety and the dangers that come with extended exposure to the sun and heat.
More than 700 people die from extreme heat every year in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“It’s alarmingly easy to become ill from the heat if your body can’t compensate for it and properly cool you off. The main things affecting your body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather are high humidity and personal factors such as age, obesity, heart disease, drug and alcohol use, and extreme sunburn,” Brad says.
Those over the age of 65 and children younger than two are at higher risk for heat-related illnesses.
It’s important to closely monitor people who depend on you for their care and ask these questions: 1). Are they drinking enough water? 2). Do they have access to air conditioning? 3). Do they need help keeping cool?
PROTECTIVE ACTIONS TO PREVENT HEAT STROKE
- Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as you can.
- If your home is not air-conditioned, reduce your risk for heat-related illness by spending time in public facilities that are air-conditioned and using air conditioning in vehicles.
- Do not rely on a fan as your main cooling solution during extreme heat.
- Avoid using the stove or oven to cook because it will make you and your house hotter.
- Limit your outdoor activity, especially midday when the sun is hottest.
- Wear and reapply sunscreen as indicated on the package.
- Pace your activity. Start activities slow and pick up the pace gradually.
- Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more. Muscle cramping may be an early sign of heat-related illness.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Schedule workouts and practices earlier or later in the day when the temperature is cooler.
- Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
- Never leave children or pets in cars.
The fact is that temperatures inside a vehicle rise very quickly, so much so that the body can no longer compensate, causing heat stroke. Brad says, “Even on a relatively cool day, the temperature inside a parked car can quickly spike to life-threatening levels if the sun is beating down on it. A parked car is never a safe place for a child or pet even in mild weather.”
Heat Forecast Tools
The National Weather Service has multiple tools to assess the potential for heat stress due to extreme temperatures. Each of these tools integrate other weather parameters to provide a deeper level of information beyond what the actual air temperature can tell you. Go to: weather.gov/safety/heat-index.
At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.