Hot Weather Safety
During the dog days of summer in Tampa, Florida, the outdoor temperature can quickly skyrocket. Because exposure to extreme heat can potentially lead to illness and even death, it’s important to take precautions to protect yourself and others from heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and sunburn.
Some summer heat safety tips include the following:
- Stay indoors as much as possible and avoid strenuous activities, particularly during the hottest part of the day, which is generally between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (if you don’t have air conditioning, you can find relief at a local library, movie theater, shopping mall, or restaurant).
- Never leave a child or pet unattended inside a vehicle, no matter how quick you think you’ll be – on a hot day, a car’s interior temperature can reach and exceed 120 degrees within minutes.
- Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids; for this purpose, plain water is always best (avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, which can have a diuretic effect).
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing (dark colors tend to absorb heat).
- If you must work outside, use a buddy system, check on each other, and take frequent breaks.
- Keep tabs on family members, friends, and neighbors, especially those who are elderly or do not have air conditioning.
- Check on pets frequently and make sure that they have plenty of cool water to drink.
Some common signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale, or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headaches; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and general exhaustion. If you notice any of these signs, move the affected person to a cooler place right away. Loosen or remove any tight clothing, fan the person, and apply cool, wet cloths to his or her skin. Have him or her slowly drink a small amount of cool water, and watch the person carefully for changes in his or her condition. For instance, if he or she refuses to drink water, vomits, or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 immediately. These are signs of heatstroke, which is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Other signs of heatstroke include hot, red skin (which can be dry or moist); loss of consciousness; vomiting; and a high body temperature. If possible, as you wait for help to arrive, cool the person’s body by immersing him or her in cool water. Otherwise, spray or douse him or her with cold water, or cover him or her with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.
For more information on what to do when the temperature rises, you can talk with the doctors at South Tampa Immediate Care. We do not require appointments at our walk-in clinic in Tampa, FL.