JULY 10, 2013

Heat stress

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The Scottsdale Fire Department responds to a number of medical calls related to Arizona's high temperatures. People suffer heat-related illness when body temperatures become overloaded. The body normally cools itself by sweating, but under some conditions, sweating isn't enough. In such cases, body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs. Know the signs which include heavy sweating, paleness, headaches, nausea, dizziness, shallow breathing and rapid but weakened pulse rate.

To help avoid heat-related illnesses, remember these warm weather tips:
** Increase your fluid intake regardless of your activity level
** Drink two to four glasses of cool liquid each hour during heavy exercise
** Avoid very cold beverages because they can cause stomach cramps, drinks with alcohol or salt tables (unless directed by a doctor)
** Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and a wide-brimmed hat
** Apply and reapply sunscreen that is SPF 15 or higher and apply it 30 minutes before going outdoors
** Avoid hot foods and heavy meals as they add heat to your body. Also use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home
** Do not leave infants, children or pets in a parked car
** Dress infants and children in cool, loose clothing and shade their heads and faces with a hat
** Limit sun exposure during the mid-day hours
** Rest frequently in a shady or air conditioned area

Visit http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/fire/heatstress for more information.