Archive for Thursday, July 29, 2010

Stay inside to beat heat

July 29, 2010

As miserable as the summertime heat may be at times, it can also be dangerous, says Betty Amos, program coordinator with Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan., Emergency Management.

Amos said anyone could become affected if outdoors too long.

“Heat can overcome even the healthiest people,” she said. “Know the signs of heat-related illnesses. Plan changes in your daily activities to avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day.”

Some of these heat-related conditions include heat cramps, muscular pains and spasms, which Amos said “are often the first signs that the body is having trouble from the heat.”

A person might also suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke, Amos said, with symptoms of heat exhaustion including heavy sweating or nausea and vomiting.

An extreme heat-related condition, Amos said, doesn’t only present itself in people, however.

“Animals can also suffer from extreme heat conditions,” Amos said. “Be sure they have plenty of fresh, clean water (and) have a shady place to get out of the sun. Keeping them indoors, if you can, will help during these extreme heat conditions. Do not leave them in parked vehicles.”

Amos said the easiest way to prevent a heat-related condition is to pay attention to the news “and know when heat alerts are issued.”

Other tips to avoid a heat-related illness include:

• Slowing down and avoiding strenuous activity.

• Avoiding too much sunshine and postponing outdoor activities and games until it is a cooler temperature outside.

• Drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine, both of which promote water loss.

A heat-related condition, Amos said, should never be taken lightly.

“If you suspect that you are suffering from heat-related illness,” she said, “don’t hesitate to call 911.”

Bonner Springs has several locations that are designated cooling centers, including the Bonner Springs City Library, 201 N. Nettleton, the Bonner Community Center, 200 E. Third St., and the Bonner Family YMCA, 2251 S. 138th St. Check with the facility for hours.

For more information, contact the Emergency Management department at (913) 573-6300.

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