For many, Memorial Day marks the start of the summer season. School is out, days are longer, and the weather great. Today is also Heat Awareness Day, a good time to remember that as temperatures increase, so do many health risks. So whether you’re getting ready for a picnic or a BBQ with the family, be sure to check out these 5 helpful tips, designed to keep you safe during the hottest months of the year.
1. Stay Cool. Stay Hydrated. Stay Informed.
The CDC urges everyone to stay cool, hydrated, and informed. This means drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after activities. It means dressing in appropriate clothing, taking cool showers, and paying attention to your body. It’s also a good idea to check in on at-risk friends and relatives. Some cities offer cooling centers during extreme heatwaves, for those whose homes lack sufficient air conditioning. Contact your local police or non-emergency number for information.
2. Don’t Forget Pets
Animals suffer from the heat, too. Remember to make sure they have adequate supplies of water and food when you are away, even if just for one afternoon. Fans don’t help animals as much as people because of their furs, so make sure your animal has an air conditioned place to retreat to. Avoid walking dogs on concrete during hot, sunny days – and NEVER EVER leave an animal in a car, even with the windows cracked open. For more ways to keep your furry buddies cool, check out the Humane Society of United States website.
3. Drink More Than Just Water
Drinking extra water is key to surviving hot days, but be sure to balance this with sports drinks or foods that contain sodium. Sodium or salt helps the body retain water, and prevents the kidneys from overworking. Pickles, salted cucumbers, and electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade are refreshing picnic staples that provide what you need to stay hydrated in the hot sun. Check out these tips for more information on water intoxication and safety.
4. Keep an Eye on the Temperature
Sometimes it’s too hot to be safe, even in the shade. On these days, limit your outdoor activities as much as possible. You can also keep track of the heat index with this helpful Heat Safety Tool from OSHA. Designed to assist those who work outside, this phone App allows you to calculate the heat index and displays a level of risk for those who must venture outdoors. Learn more about heat safety for workers on the OSHA website.
5. Keep an Eye on the Elderly
On hot and humid days, older people and those with chronic health problems should stay indoors in cool areas. Those without air conditioners relocate to cooler places like senior centers, shopping malls, movie theaters, libraries or community cooling centers. Medications and low-salt diets increase the risk of heat related illness, so be mindful of these situations. Check on older relatives, and be sure they have the resources and ability to endure warmer temperatures.
What To Do In Case of Heat Related Illness
If you suspect someone is suffering from a heat-related illness, get them into a cooler, shadier or air-conditioned area. Encourage the person to shower, bathe or sponge off with cool water if it is safe to do so. Applying a cold, wet cloth to the wrists, neck, and armpits can also help. Offer caffeine-free and alcohol-free beverages only. Call 911 if the victim demonstrates a high body temperature, confusion or combativeness, strong rapid pulse, lack of sweating, dry flushed skin, feeling faint, staggering, or unconsiousness. These are signs of a dangerous and life-threatening condition called a heat stroke.
Happy Memorial Day from Your Friends at Aftermath
As a biohazard cleaning company, one of our central pillars is safety. Our crews provide discreet, compassionate cleaning services to families across the US. Aftermath Technicians are also trained on the subject of heat awareness and the importance of PPE.
June is National Safety Month, and we look forward to bringing you more weekly tips like these, to help keep you safe at home and in the work place. While you gear up for some time out of the office, remember that our technicians are available 24/7 nationwide. Happy Memorial Day to you and your family, from Aftermath Services.