With heat indexes topping 100 degrees the past few days, Barrow County Emergency Services reminds citizens to be alert to the dangers of heat exposure.
“With the heat of summer having been here for quite some time, folks may start thinking they are used to it and can do more outside then before,” said Barrow County Emergency Services public information officer Lt. Scott Dakin. “We want to issue a warning to all of our citizens that the best possible treatment for heat emergencies is prevention.”
Dakin said there are steps every citizen can take to prevent becoming overheated and suffering health issues and even death. These measures include drinking more fluids, staying indoors and wearing loose fitting, lightweight clothing.
Dakin recommends avoiding alcoholic beverages and beverages with high sugar content as those types drinks may actually result in the loss of body fluid.
During the heat of the day, Dakin advises residents to stay indoors and spend time in an air-conditioned area. Cool showers are another way to reduce body temperature, Dakin said.
For those who must work outdoors, Dakin recommends limiting activity to the morning or evening hours. If exercising, individuals should drink two to four glasses of fluids each hour.
When heat indexes are high, medical emergencies such as sunburns and heat rashes, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke become more commonplace.
“It is extremely important that all of our citizens are aware of the health dangers related to the heat of summer,” Dakin said. “If you are aware and take precautions, then we can all have a safe and enjoyable summer.”
Barrow County Emergency Services is also asking citizens to regularly check on elderly, sick or disabled neighbors as these individuals are more susceptible to heat emergencies.
For more prevention tips and ways to recognize a heat emergency, visit the Center for Disease Control website at http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/or the Federal Emergency Management Agency website at http://www.fema.gov/hazard/heat/index.shtm.