No one enjoys being overly hot. Few enjoy being too cold. Extremes in temperature send people looking for shelter all year long. If you live in South Florida, you know what hot is. Heat indexes often top the 100 degree mark, making for sweaty days and sweltering nights.
Heat is not only uncomfortable, but dangerous. Children, those who have weakened health, and the elderly are all more susceptible to heat-related illness. Snowbirds who may not be used to the heat need to be prepared as they head to Florida’s warmer climes this winter season. Failing to follow a certain set of safety tips could leave you worse for the wear or, in the most serious cases, fighting for your life.
As West Palm Beach injury lawyers, we know that precaution is the first step to prevention. Use these tips to help be sure you are ready for this year’s season.
It may seem obvious, but the first thing to do to beat the heat is to stay out of it in the first place. Avoid the sun during the hottest parts of the day, which tend to be between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
If you are aching to do something outside, do it in the early morning or late evening hours when the sun won’t be scorching your skin. If you are outside and feel yourself start to get too hot, seek shade as soon as possible.
Air conditioning is your friend, but you don’t have to have it in your home to enjoy it. If it gets too hot to handle, head to a local grocery store, mall, big box store or other public building that has air conditioning.
When the temperatures get too high, many cities will open special centers for those looking to escape the heat. Call your local police station or city hall to find out if there are such centers opened in your town.
You don’t want to get dehydrated, and it can happen very quickly in the heat. One of the trickiest things about dehydration is that many people don’t feel thirsty. You may think that you’re fine when you’re really not.
Some signs of dehydration include headache and dizziness. You may also notice that you haven’t urinated despite having had a lot to drink, or that your urine is dark in color. You may stop sweating despite being hot. If you notice any of these symptoms, it may already be too late. Seek medical attention.
When you get dressed in the morning, reach for light colored and loose clothing. Dark colors absorb the heat and skin-tight clothing will trap heat next to your body.
The more flowing your garments, the cooler they will keep you.
When you feel as though you are getting too hot, you want to cool down the right way. It can be tempting to jump in a cold pool, stand under a freezing shower or bury yourself in ice cubes.
Cooling your body off too rapidly can lead to dangerous health conditions. Cool yourself down by standing under a tepid shower. This means the water isn’t too hot or too cold. Your body will cool down more slowly and safely this way.
There are differences between heat stroke and heat exhaustion to be aware of.
Heat Stroke: A rise in your body temperature that can be fatal. Your temperature, if you took it, would be 103 degrees or higher. Your skin would be hot, red and dry. You would feel a fast pulse and have a headache. You may also experience nausea, vomiting and confusion.
If you or someone near you is suffering with heat stroke, call 911 immediately to summons emergency services. While you are waiting for the paramedics, douse you or the person with cool water. Towels or other items soaked in cool water can be placed on ankles and wrists, in the armpits and under the neck.
Heat Exhaustion: This is a serious condition that is not fatal. It occurs when you experience too much heat and dehydration. If’t is not treated properly, it could lead to heat stroke. You may notice heavy or no sweating. You could experience muscle cramps, paleness, and clammy skin. You may be nauseous or throw up. You may have a fast or weak pulse.
If you experience these symptoms, move to the shade and try to cool down. Drink a sports drink or water. If you have high blood pressure, heart problems, or don’t feel well quickly, call 911 for assistance.
Anyone experiencing a heat injury due to someone’s negligence may be entitled to compensation. Call our West Palm Beach injury lawyer today to schedule a free case evaluation and discover more about your rights.