Hot enough for you?! Beat the Heat While Looking for the Perfect Maryland Rent-To-Own Home

July 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Beat the Heat with Red Cross Safety Tips

Even just being out looking at properties, it is sweltering out there!  So we thought it’s a good time to share some information that everyone can use regardless if you’re out house hunting for a rent-to-own home or not.

Heat-related illnesses can cause serious injury and even death if unattended. Signs of heat-related illnesses include nausea, dizziness, flushed or pale skin, heavy sweating and headaches. Victims of heat-related illness should be moved to a cool place, given cool water to drink and ice packs or cool wet cloths should be applied to the skin. If a victim refuses water, vomits or loses consciousness, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately.

Red Cross Heat Safety Tips:

  • Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. It is also a good idea to wear a hat
  • Drink water. Carry water with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body.
  • Eat small meals. Avoid high-protein foods, which increase metabolic heat.
  • Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day.
  • Stay indoors when possible. If air-conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sun.
  • Learn Red Cross first aid and CPR.

Know What These Heat-Related Terms Mean:

  • Heat cramps: Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion, they are an early signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.
  • Heat exhaustion: Typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Signals of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale flushed or red skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and exhaustion. Body temperature will be near normal.
  • Heat stroke: Heat stroke is life-threatening. Signals include hot, red and dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing. Body temperature can be very high—sometimes as high as 105 degrees.. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly.

General Care for Heat Emergencies:

  • Heat cramps or heat exhaustion: Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position. If the person is fully awake and alert, give half a glass of cool water every 15 minutes. Do not let him or her drink too quickly. Do not give liquids that contain alcohol or caffeine. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths, such as towels or sheets. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number if the person refuses water, vomits or loses consciousness.
  • Heat stroke: Heat stroke is a life-threatening situation! Help is needed fast. Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the body. Immerse victim in a cool bath, or wrap wet sheets around the body and fan it. Watch for signals of breathing problems. Keep the person lying down and continue to cool the body any way you can. If the victim refuses water or is vomiting or there are changes in the level of consciousness, do not give anything to eat or drink.

The CDC also has tips for preventing heat-related illness:

Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness

The best defense is prevention. Here are some prevention tips:

  • Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  • Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
  • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • NEVER leave anyone or any pet in a closed, parked vehicle.
  • Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:
    • Infants and young children
    • People aged 65 or older
    • People who have a mental illness
    • Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure
  • Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

If you must be out in the heat:

  • Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour.  A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage. Remember the warning in the first “tip” (above), too.
  • Try to rest often in shady areas.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).

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