UPDATE 7-2-15: VIDEO (Jennifer Ramieh on Morning Blend)- http://ow.ly/P62EH
Summer is here, and in Las Vegas, it is more than just no school and playing outdoors. Las Vegas summers also bring excessive heat and a great deal of sun light. Together, these elements make the residents in the region extremely susceptible to dehydration, heat exhaustion and even heat stroke.
The Red Cross has tips to stave off these potentially life-threatening conditions. The first step is to prepare for the heat. Listen to local weather forecasts and know in advance of any upcoming temperature changes. If there aren’t any clouds overhead, direct sunlight on a cloudless day can increase the local heat index by up to 15°. This heat may also cause power outages, so it is very important to already have water and a cool place to go in case A/C goes out. Plenty of water on hand for yourself and pets is critical to staying cool.
When the heat wave hits, drink water and avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine and alcohol cause dehydration despite how refreshing they may seem. Also, wear loose-fitting and lightweight clothing outdoors and avoid dark colors. Loose-fitting clothes create air pockets between the heat and direct skin contact. Try to avoid working or exercising outside, but if it is necessary, use a buddy system and take frequent breaks. Heat exhaustion only takes moments to take form. Having two or more people watch over each other will help them recognize the signs of heat exhaustion in their partner quickly and potentially save a life!
Signs of heat exhaustion include dizziness, nausea, headaches, or pale and flushed looking skin. If any of these symptoms are noticed, immediately move the person to a cooler place and loosen tight clothing. Fan the person and give them small amounts of cool water to drink. If the person cannot drink or vomits, it is time to call 911 and seek emergency services. If the condition worsens to where the person has a high body temperature, seek emergency services immediately. This is a sign of heat stroke, which is a life-threatening condition where the body’s temperature ceases to work and the body cannot cool itself.
Summer is a time for fun, but it is not a time to be careless. Here in Las Vegas we have a lot of great activities in our area, but we also have to be careful when we enjoy them. The most important thing is to stay smart because heat can kill. Visit redcross.org for more information on heat waves and how to stay cool and happy during one.