Avoid Heat-Related Illness, Injury This 4th Of July


Wednesday, July 1st 2009, 3:14 pm
By: News On 6


An unusually hot June led to an increase in calls for heat-related illness for EMSA, according to spokesperson Tina Wells. The emergency response agency transported 71 patients to the hospital for heat-related complaints. They treated a total of 95 people for spending too much time in a hot environment, Wells said.

They issued a total of seven heat alerts to warn people to take precautions against overheating.

As the holiday weekend approaches, EMSA offers the following safety advice.

To avoid injury:

  • Use care when operating an outdoor grill. EMSA paramedics treat more patients each year who are injured cooking outdoors than people hurt using fireworks. Keep children and pets away from the grilling area.
  • Supervise children closely whenever they are near pooled water (including oceans, plastic wading pools, full buckets of water and everything in between). When swimming in a lake or river, children should be accompanied in the water by an adult and should wear a properly fitted life jacket.
  • Never operate a personal watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or while alone. Wear a properly fitted life jacket during use. Give boaters, swimmers and other watercrafts plenty of clearance.
  • Never drink and drive - or drink and boat - and never ride with a driver or boat captain who has been drinking.
  • Use sunscreen and insect repellent to ensure you don't get burned or bitten after time outdoors.

To avoid heat-related illness:

  • Drink plenty of water when outdoors and avoid alcohol use.
  • On particularly hot days, limit time spent outdoors in the late morning and afternoon hours.
  • If you suffer heat cramps or develop signs of heat exhaustion, move to a cool spot (preferably into an air-conditioned environment) and sip cool water. If symptoms don't subside, contact your physician or call 911 for emergency medical help.