The hottest day, the hottest week, the hottest month, this summer’s headlines are dominated by record-breaking heat. From coast to coast, cities across the country and the world are baking under historic temperatures. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), close to 5,000 heat and rainfall records were broken in the past month in the U.S. and more than 10,000 worldwide.
This summer, walk-in clinics, emergency rooms, and hospitals are seeing an uptake in the number of heat-related injuries and illnesses. The CDC publishes data on high temperatures and heat-related illnesses via the Heat & Health Tracker to provide localities with information to prepare and respond to incidents. It’s easy for nurses and allied health to get wrapped up in their patient’s needs and forget about taking precautions to ensure their own health and safety. But with his summer’s extreme temperatures, all health professionals would be wise to stay alert for signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses and stay vigilant about staying cool and hydrated.
Check out these tips from the CDC for staying cool and safe this summer season.
Tips for staying cool
Wear a hat or carry an umbrella to shade from the sun
Drink more water than usual. Don’t wait until your thirsty
Limit outdoor activity, especially at midday
Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing
Stay in air-conditioned buildings
Be sure to check in on friends and family
Limit your use of a stove or oven indoors
Take cool showers or baths
Never leave children or pets in cars
CDC Warnings for Heat Exhaustion
- Heavy sweating
- Cold, pale, and clammy skin
- Fast, weak pulse
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle cramps
- Tiredness or weakness
- Fainting (passing out)
Move to a cool place, loosen your clothes, put cool, wet clothes on your body, or take a cool bath and sip water. Be sure to get medical help immediately if you’re: throwing up, your symptoms worsen, or your symptoms last longer than an hour.
CDC Warnings for Heat Stroke
- Extremely high body temperature (103°F)
- Red, hot, dry skin (no sweating)
- Rapid, strong pulse
- Throbbing headache
Call 911 right away. Move to a cooler place. Lower your temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath, and DO NOT drink any water.
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