Keep healthy during Austin's sweltering summer heat with these safety suggestions:
- Slow down. Reduce your level of physical activity; your body can't work as well in high temperatures. Rest to allow your body's cooling system to do its work. A few minutes of sweat-free rest every hour will help restore your physical and mental energy.
- Drink plenty of liquids while exposed to continuous heat. Remember that while beer and alcoholic beverages appear to satisfy thirst, they actually cause further dehydration.
- Don't let elderly or disabled persons be exposed to the sun's full heat. They should be checked frequently for heat-related problems if they don't have air conditioning.
- Never leave small children or pets alone in a vehicle, even with the windows partially rolled down.
Heat exhaustion: Symptoms include dizziness, nausea and headache. Lay person down in a cool place, slightly raise feet, give sips of water.
Heat stroke: Life-threatening condition with symptoms including temperature of 104 degrees or more, diminished sweating, shallow breathing. Call 911 and sponge person continually with cold water.
• With a heat index between 80 and 90 degrees, fatigue is possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity.
• With a heat index between 90 and 105 degrees, sunstroke, heat cramps, and heat exhaustion is possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity.
• With a heat index between 105 and 130 degrees, sunstroke, heat cramps or heat exhaustion is likely. Heatstroke is possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity.
• With a heat index of 130 degrees or higher, heatstroke/sunstroke is highly likely with continued exposure.
Heat index values were devised for shady light wind conditions, exposure to full sunshine can incresae heat index values by up to 15 degrees fahrenheit.
First aid treatment suggestions for heat-related illnesses can be obtained from local Red Cross offices, hospitals and clinics, public health agencies, and physicians.