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Tips to Beat the Heat

Gwinnett Fire/Emergency Services offers tips on staying safe and cool in summer heat. How are you surviving the heat?

As Duluth residents know, summer days can be really hot in Georgia. Temperatures can easily reach 100 degrees or even hotter as in recent days.

The heat can be especially dangerous to senior citizens, children, and persons with asthma, acccording to information provided by the Gwinnett Department of Fire and Emergency Services. Limit exposure to the soaring temperatures by taking frequent breaks and drinking plenty of water.

Check your thermometer! How hot is it at your house? How are you staying cool? Tell us in the comments.

Be sure to monitor children at play and periodically check on seniors who live alone. People who work outdoors and those involved in outdoor recreational activities should take  necessary precautions in order to safe and cool.

The Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services offers the following tips for staying safe during the summer heat: 

  • Stay hydrated during outdoor activities by drinking plenty of cool refreshing water. 
  • Take a cool shower, especially after outdoor activities or long exposure to the sun.
  • Wear clothing that is lightweight, light-colored, and loose fitting.  A brimmed hat and sunglasses provide protection to the head, face and eyes.
  • When outdoors remember to use plenty of sunscreen and always look for shaded areas to rest or to take breaks. 
  • Monitor weather conditions and consider staying indoors in the air conditioning when temperatures soar into the 90’s. You may want to limit outdoor activities to early morning or late evening to avoid the hottest part of the day.  

Here are signs & symptons of heat-related emergencies:

Heat Exhaustion: Signs and symptoms include rapid, shallow breathing, cold, clammy skin, heavy perspiration, general weakness, muscle cramps and possible loss of consciousness. Heat exhaustion can rapidly progress to heat stroke if the victim remains exposed and does not replenish lost fluids.

Heat Stroke: Signs and symptoms include deep breaths followed by shallow breathing, a rapid strong pulse followed by rapid, weak pulse, dry hot skin, dilated pupils, loss of consciousness/possible coma, and possibly seizures or muscular twitching. Heat stroke is a serious life threatening emergency wherein the victim's cooling system has failed and prolonged high body temperature could result in brain damage or even death.

Take the following actions if any of the above signs or symptons are present:

  • Get the person to a cool shaded area out of direct sunlight (indoors and in the air conditioning is preferred.)
  • Loosen tight or constrictive clothing.
  • Rapidly cool the person by placing cold-wet cloths under the arms, between the legs, and on the back of the neck. (A cool mist or spray of water is also helpful).
  • Fan the person to help lower the body temperature.
  • If the person is conscious and alert and if their breathing is normal, hydrate them by providing cool water to drink. Avoid drinks with alcohol or high sugar contents. 
  • Call for medical help as soon as possible.

(Editor's note: This information provided by the Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services.)

 

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