Over the next several days, the St. Louis area and much of the Midwest will be under a Heat Advisory. Residents are urged to take extra precautions when the temperatures and the heat index climb into the upper 90s.
Everyone can be affected by excessive heat. However, there are certain populations who are more sensitive to extreme heat, these include: the elderly, people with chronic health conditions, people taking certain medications, obese people, low income families without access to air conditioning, infants and children, outside workers, and athletes.
Heat Advisory Safety Tips:
- Use common sense and pace yourself
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day – don’t wait until you are thirsty
- Replace lost minerals and salt with energy drinks
- Avoid alcohol and drinks containing large amounts of sugar
- Wear loose, light-colored clothing and a large brimmed hat
- Wear and reapply sunscreen as directed on the package
- Schedule activities early in the morning or later in the evening – avoid midday
- Use your air-conditioner if you have one
- No air-conditioning? Find a local cool-down shelter in your area
- Don’t use your stove or oven to cook, as it will make you and your home hotter
- Take cool showers or baths to cool down
- Check on friends and neighbors; have someone do the same for you
The United Way and other government agencies operate cooling centers throughout the area. If you or someone you know needs access to a cooling center, use the links below to find one near you:
Knowing the signs and treatment for heat-related illness can mean the difference between life and death. Below are the stages of heat-related illness and the appropriate first-aid solutions.
Heat cramps may be the first sign of heat-related illness and may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
- Painful muscle cramps and spasms usually in legs and abdomen
- Heavy sweating
- Apply firm pressure on cramping muscles or gently massage to relieve spasm.
- Give sips of water unless the person complains of nausea, then stop giving water.
- Heavy sweating
- Cool, pale, clammy skin
- Fast weak pulse
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea, vomiting
- Move person to cool place
- Lay person down and loosen clothing
- Apply cool, wet clothes to as much of the body as possible
- Fan or move victim to air-conditioned room
- Offer sips of water
- If person vomits more than once, seek medical attention
- Altered mental state
- Shallow breathing, confusion, throbbing headache, nausea, dizziness
- Body temp above 103 degrees
- Hot red, dry or moist skin
- Rapid and strong pulse
- Fainting or loss of consciousness
- Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Call 911 or get victim to hospital immediately, as it can be fatal
- Move victim to cool, air-conditioned environment
- Reduce body temperature with cool clothes or bath
- Use a fan to cool the person, only if heat index temperatures are lower than high 90’s (if heat index is higher than high 90’s, using a fan can make a person hotter)
- Do NOT give fluids
Casey & Devoti is a St. Louis-based personal injury law firm. Together Partners Matt Casey and Matt Devoti have nearly 40 years of trial experience. They handle a variety of personal injury matters, including: car, truck and train crashes, victims of impaired and distracted driving, medical malpractice and birth injuries, product liability, slips/trips/falls, elder care and sexual abuse, Workers’ Compensation, and wrongful death. Matt and Matt proudly serve clients throughout metropolitan St. Louis, southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois. If you or a loved one have been injured by the negligence of another, call the office today for a free, no-obligation consultation: (314) 421-0763.