With temperatures set to soar again this week, here are some helpful tips from your local Red Cross on staying cool:


With temperatures set to soar again this week, here are some helpful tips from your local Red Cross on staying cool:

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol. Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid extreme temperature changes. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Always apply sunscreen and wear a hat when out in the sun. Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day. Postpone outdoor games and activities. Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.  Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors. Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat. Check on your animals frequently to ensure they are not suffering from the heat. Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.

Recognize and care for heat-related emergencies

Heat crampsare muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen, caused by exposure to high heat and humidity and loss of fluids and electrolytes. Heat cramps are often an early sign the body is having trouble with the heat. 

Heat exhaustiontypically involves the loss of body fluids through heavy sweating during strenuous exercise or physical labor in high heat and humidity.  Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion.

Move the person to a cooler place.  Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

Heat stroke(also known as sunstroke) is a life-threatening condition in which a person’s temperature control system stops working and the body is unable to cool itself.  Signs of heat stroke include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting; and high body temperature.

Heat stroke is life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately. Move the person to a cooler place.  Quickly cool the person’s body by giving care as you would for heat exhaustion. If needed, continue rapid cooling by applying ice or cold packs wrapped in a cloth to the wrists, ankles, groin, neck and armpits.

For more information, go to www.redcrossdelmarva.org/. The number to the American Red Cross is (800)777-6620.