Tulsa Firefighters Give Advice For Beating The Heat

Thursday, June 2nd 2011, 12:54 pm
By: News On 6


TULSA, Oklahoma -- With an expected heat index of over 100 degrees this weekend, Tulsa firefighters are warning citizens to take precautions against heat-related injuries.

About 688 heat-related injuries occur every year, according to a TFD news release.

Overheating can happen to anyone, so it's important to take steps to avoid falling victim to the heat.

Here are four steps to take:

  1. Ensure your home's cooling system works properly and is well-insulated, including weather stripping around doors and windows.
  2. If possible, plan on being inside during the hottest time of the day, usually between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  3. During a heat wave, slow down and avoid strenuous activity. Wear lightweight, light colored clothing and drink water regularly and often, even if you do not feel thirsty.
  4. NEVER leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle in the heat. Even on relatively cool summer days, car interior temperatures can top 110-degrees within the first half-hour, regardless of whether windows are cracked open.

Know these signs and symptoms of heat-related injury:

Heat cramps — when someone is experiencing heat cramps, move them to a cooler place and have them rest in a comfortable position. Lightly stretch the affected muscle and replenish fluids with a half glass of water every 15 minutes.

Heat exhaustion — signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness and exhaustion. Body temperature will be near normal.

If someone is suffering from heat exhaustion, get them to a cool place, remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths to the skin.

Heat stroke — symptoms of heat stroke include hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing. Body temperature can be as high as 105-degrees. If you see signs of heat stroke, call 911.

Cool the body by immersing the victim in a cool bath or by wrapping them in wet sheets. Have the person lie down. If consciousness changes, the person refuses water or is vomiting, do not give them anything else to eat or drink and wait for help.