Summer heat safety|
Posted 7/23/2012 Updated 7/23/2012
by Staff Sgt. Krystie Martinez
Air Combat Command Public Affairs
7/23/2012 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, annually more people die from heat-related illnesses than any other weather-related incident.
To avoid excessive heat exposure, Airmen and their families should be familiar with signs of heat distress, ensure children are protected against exposure, and carefully plan around scorching summer days.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the following recommendations to avoid becoming a heat casualty.
· Stay hydrated by drinking more fluids regardless of activity level
· Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
· Stay indoors in an air-conditioned area
· Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours
"With record setting temperatures and powerful storms causing loss of air-conditioning, there has been an increase in heat-related illness across the state," said Muriel Jones, 633rd Medical Group Internal Medicine Clinic registered nurse.
The risks of being outside on a hot day are dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
If a person is experiencing the following symptoms, they may be suffering from heat exhaustion:
· Profuse sweating
· Muscle cramps
· Nausea and vomiting
"These symptoms can usually be treated at home as long as the person with symptoms is able to hydrate," Jones said. "If a person cannot hold down fluids due to vomiting, seek medical attention immediately."
"When a person stops sweating or becomes confused, they may be having a heat stroke, which is life threatening," Jones said. "Move that person to a cooler area, remove clothing, and call emergency services."
Children are at greater risk of experiencing heat-related injuries. It is better for them to stay indoors when temperatures are above 80 degrees Fahrenheit; however, if they must go outside, Jones has recommendations to keep them safe.
· Offer water or sports drink regularly
· Apply 30+ SPF sunscreen 20 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapply every two hours
· Never leave children in a parked car
Developing and caring for Airmen and their families, is a top priority of Air Combat Command. In order to keep Airmen mission ready, ACC leadership keeps a keen eye on the summer heat.
"The Air Force is extremely focused on heat safety, with an emphasis that Airmen adhere to published work/rest cycles," said Chief Master Sgt. Paul Hughes, Headquarters ACC first sergeant. "When our Airmen exercise the proper amount of preparation and planning, the mission gets accomplished in a safe manner."
For more information, contact the local safety office on base.