Summer events are in full swing and Fargo Cass Public Health would like to remind everyone to take the necessary precautions during this heat wave to avoid dangerous health conditions.
Those most vulnerable to the effects of heat include infants and young children, the elderly and those with existing medical conditions. Dangers we face during periods of very high temperatures include:
Heat Cramps: These are muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. They are an early signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.
Heat exhaustion: This typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim may suffer heat stroke.
Heat stroke (sunstroke): Heat stroke is life-threatening. The victim’s temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly.
During a heat wave practice these safety tips:
- Slow down and avoid strenuous activity,
- Stay indoors as much as possible,
- Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing,
- Drink plenty of water regularly and often. Do not drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
- Eat small meals and eat more often,
- If you have to be outside, take frequent breaks in the shade,
- Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours,
- Do not leave anyone or pets in a parked vehicle. Even with the windows cracked open, vehicles can still get 15-20 degrees hotter than outside temperatures,
- Check on elderly neighbors, and
- Keep infants and young children well hydrated.
For more information on extreme heat prevention facts, go to cityoffargo.com/health.