COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Medical Services reminds Ohioans to take extra precautions this week and the rest of the summer as the mercury rises and heat advisories are issued.
“EMS personnel are prepared to respond to heat-related emergencies however, most people can prevent heat-related illness by taking special precautions,” said Ohio EMS executive director Mel House. “Parents and caregivers need to pay close attention to children, the elderly, and those suffering from illness during this type of weather since they are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help.”
According to the Red Cross, in recent years, excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather events, including floods.
A heat wave is a prolonged period of extreme heat, often combined with excessive humidity. Generally temperatures are 10 degrees or more above the average high temperature for the region during summer months, last for a long period of time, and occur with high humidity as well.
The Division of EMS offers the following tips during extreme heat:
• Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
• Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities. Circulating air can cool the body by increasing the perspiration rate of evaporation.
• Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
• Drink plenty of water and limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
• Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
• Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
• Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Take frequent breaks.
If you believe that you or someone may be suffering from heat stress, call 9-1-1 or consult a physician.