Safety Tips from the New Vernon Volunteer First Aid Squad: Treating Heat
During the warm summer months many people enjoy being outside and engaging
in exercise or yard work. Physical activity is healthy, but hot weather raises the
possibility of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke. American Red
Cross recommends that you wear lightweight, light-colored clothing, carry water
or juice and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty, avoid alcohol and
caffeine, eat small meals and eat more often, and take regular breaks when
engaged in physical activity on hot days.
In case of any heat-related emergency, take the following actions:
1. Lower Body Temperature: Get the person out of the heat and into a cool
environment. If air-conditioning is not available, fan the person. Spray the
person with a garden hose, get him or her into a cool shower or bath, apply
cool compresses, or give the person a cool sponge bath.
2. Rehydrate: Give cool, nonalcoholic and non-caffeinated beverages every 15
minutes as long as the person is alert.
3. Rest: Have the person avoid physical activity for the rest of the day.
4. See a Health Care Provider That Day If: Symptoms get worse, last more than
an hour, or the person is nauseated or vomiting. Untreated heat exhaustion
can progress to heat stroke.
Call 911 immediately if the patient shows any of the below symptoms which could
indicate heat stroke:
1. Very high, weak pulse rate and rapid shallow breathing, especially when
combined with high or low blood pressure
2. Unconsciousness, confusion, or seizures
3. Warm, dry skin and high body temperature over 102°F.