EMSA Urging Residents To Stay Indoors During Extreme Heat

Monday, June 21st 2010, 9:40 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The sweltering heat has Tulsa area health officials urging you to stay indoors.

EMSA has treated 23 patients for heat-related illness since Friday. Officials are urging everyone to take precautions so you're not the next victim of the heat.

6/19/2010 Related Story: Excessive Heat Warning In Effect For Tulsa; Cooling Stations Opened

Hitting the splash pad is a good way to beat the heat, but emergency officials say staying cool is no laughing matter.

It was this time last year that a one-month-old baby boy was rushed to the hospital, after he was left in a parked car.

"It is June and it'll get up to 97, 98 degrees and a car, just sitting for a short amount of time, is going to heat up real fast, 120, 130, 140 degrees," said Jeremy Ballard, Tulsa Police. "So it doesn't take long to render a child brain dead from the heat."

That baby survived but in May, a two-year-old little girl was killed. Her babysitter faces a second-degree manslaughter charge for accidentally leaving the toddler in a van all day.

But when it's this hot, children aren't the only ones who are vulnerable.

"We definitely want people to take care of themselves and that means staying cool and not overexerting themselves in the heat of the day," said Arletta Robinson, Center of Hope Executive Director.

Arletta Robinson offers an oasis from the heat, where you can cool down and stay hydrated. And just like the heat can zap your body's energy, it can do the same thing to your car.

"It's designed to be run at 80 or 90 degree temperatures," said Jonathan Burelle, Firestone. "When you start getting to the 100s, just like everything else, it takes a lot more energy, more power to run it."

To avoid breaking down and baking on the side of the road, Burelle says to top off your fluids.

"If you can't see anything, you definitely have a problem," he said.

Burelle also says to kick the tires and check the pressure. The spike in temperatures can also drain your battery.

"It tends to wear down faster than normal," Burelle said. "So try not to do a lot of starting and stopping."

But even if you're drenched in water, experts say you still need to drink some and hit the shade, regularly.