May 2011 Safety Tip

Summer Heat Safety

Summer time is here!!! High temperatures may affect the way we conduct business. For office personnel that their job requires them to attend meetings at other locations, going from the nice cool office to the heat outside the office can be a drastic change in temperature. For field personnel that are exposed to the direct sun and heat for a long period of time can be even more drastic. Here are some tips on what to do to prevent a heat related stroke.

HOW TO HYDRATE

  • Drink plenty of fluid. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink.
  • If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour.
  • Avoid liquids with alcohol or sugar -- they will cause you to lose more body fluid.
  • Stay away from very cold drinks -- they can cause stomach cramps.

Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours and wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Monitor young children and elderly people because they are more sensitive to the heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Body temperature can rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. A very important tip for summer health is to drink enough fluids -- hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

HOW TO RECOGNIZE HEAT STROKE

If your body temperature is above 103 degrees Fahrenheit (red, hot dry skin, and there's no sweating) which means that the body's sweating mechanism is failing and the body is unable to cool down. If the person has a rapid strong pulse, headache, dizziness or nausea CALL 911 and get the victim to a shady area in the meantime. Try to cool the victim rapidly using whatever methods you can like spraying them with cool water from a hose.

SYMPTOMS

  • Body temp > 103°F
  • Red/hot/dry skin
  • No sweating
  • Rapid pulse
  • Headache/dizziness/nausea

HOW TO ALLEVIATE SUNBURN

There's no fast "cure" for sunburns it may take days for your skin to heal. To treat the pain, take an over-the-counter pain reliever and keep the area moisturized with aloe or other lotions. Keep the skin cool by using cold compresses or taking a cold bath. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a "healthy tan." Unprotected sun exposure causes premature aging of the skin. If you are going to work outside, it is recommended you use sun screen at least every 3-4 hours or as recommended.