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The Dangers of Heat, Information from the CDC

The average high temperature in the month of June for Detroit, MI, is 79 degrees Fahrenheit.  Today we are blowing that out of the water with a high of 93 degrees.  It is hot.  Today is the kind of day when you want to be in the pool instead of sitting alongside it.  You want to eat a popsicle and not move too much for fear of building up extra body heat.  You want to sit on your air conditioning vent and dream of Alaska.  Being uncomfortable is not the only hazard of these high temperatures, there can be serious safety concerns as well.  The following is information gathered from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Heat Stroke:

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention):  “Heat stroke is the most serious heat illness.  It happens when the body can’t control its own temperature, and its temperature rises rapidly.  Sweating fails and the body cannot cool down….  Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency care is not given.” Symptoms:  An extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees F); red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating); rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; unconsciousness (CDC)

Heat Exhaustion:

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and is inadequate for unbalanced replacement of fluids.  Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, those with high blood pressure, and those working or exercising in a hot environment.” (CDC) Symptoms:  Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting (CDC). 

Heat Cramps:

Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms-usually in the abdomen, arms, or legs-that may occur in association with strenuous activity.  People who sweat a lot during strenuous activity are prone to heat cramps.  This sweating depletes the body’s salt and moisture.  The low salt level in the muscles causes painful cramps.  Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.  If you have heart problems or are on a low-sodium diet, seek medical attention for heat cramps.” (CDC)

Heat Rash:

“Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather.  It can occur at any age but is most common in young children.  Heat rash looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters….” (CDC)  

Prevention (Compiled from CDC “Extreme Heat“)

-Drink fluid every 15-20 minutes (1 gallon/day)

-Alcohol and caffeine do not hydrate, they Dehydrate

-Cool off through cool showers, cool baths, and rinsing your face with cool water

-Wear cool, loose-fitting clothing

-Move to an air-conditioned room or building, in high temperatures, this is much more effective than a fan

-For heat rash, try to keep the rash area dry and move out of the hot, humid area

-For heat muscle cramps, stop your activity and move to a cool area.  Do not resume activity for a few hours in case the cramps come back.

*Look at Center for Disease Control and Prevention “Extreme Heat:  Frequently Asked Questions” for when to seek medical attention

If you are looking to stay cool and have questions about your air conditioner, please feel free to Contact FLAME!

(http://www.myforecast.com/bin/climate.m?city=19686&metric=false   -average high Detroit June temperature)

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