High temps are sticking around — here's how to stay safe
FARMINGTON — Temperatures in the mid and high 90s are forecast in the Four Corners region through the weekend.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 400 people die each year from exposure to excessive heat, and even more die from health conditions that are worsened by exposure to excessive heat.
Understanding weather terms is essential in determining what precautions to take when the mercury climbs.
What is a heat stroke?
During extremely hot and humid weather, your body's ability to cool itself is challenged, the National Weather Service states.
When the body heats too rapidly to cool itself properly, or when too much fluid or salt is lost through dehydration or sweating, body temperature rise and you may experience a heat-related illness.
It is important to know the symptoms of excessive heat exposure and the appropriate responses to take for yourself or someone you care about.
- Altered mental state
- One or more of the following symptoms: throbbing headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, shallow breathing
- Body temperature above 103°F
- Hot, red, dry or moist skin
- Rapid and strong pulse
- Faints, loses consciousness
- Heatstroke is a severe medical emergency. Call 911 or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal
- Move the victim to a cooler, preferably air-conditioned, environment
- Reduce body temperature with cool cloths or bath
- Use a fan if heat index temperatures are below the high 90s. A fan can make you hotter at higher temperatures
- Do NOT give fluids
What is heat exhaustion?
- Heavy sweating
- Cool, pale, clammy skin
- Fast, weak pulse
- Possible muscle cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Move person to a cooler environment
- Lay the person down and loosen clothing
- Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of the body as possible
- Fan or move victim to air conditioned room
- Offer sips of water
- If the person vomits more than once, seek immediate medical attention.
Know the difference ...
Understanding the differences between heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke is essential.
Heat cramps are muscle pain and spasms in the legs and abdomen and can be an early sign of heat exhaustion.
If left untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, a life-threatening condition.
Don't forget to eat and drink right
The American Red Cross advises drinking plenty of water, even when not thirsty. The organization also advises to eat smaller meals and eat more often throughout the day.
Avoid beverages with alcohol and caffeine. People on medication should be aware of its effects and check to see if they are at higher risk for heat-related conditions.