Tag Archives: heat

NEVER leave a child in a parked car

Some things should never, ever happen. Leaving a child in a parked car, even if the windows are open, is one of those things.

And don’t leave pets in that dangerous situation either.

Despite the many warnings and, tragically, the child deaths reported due to being left in a hot car, there are still those who take the chance. Again, don’t.

Here’s what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about infants and children and heat:

Keep children cool and hydrated

  • Dress infants and children in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Make sure they drink plenty of fluids. Avoid really cold drinks or drinks with too much sugar.
  • Follow additional tips on how to prevent heat-related illness.

Never leave children in a parked car

  • Even when it feels cool outside, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly.
  • Leaving a window open is not enough: Temperatures inside the car can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes.
  • Children who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death.

Tips for traveling with children

  • Never leave infants or children in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
  • When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.

Visit the CDC’s website for information on symptoms of heat-related illness.

It’s Hot: Take steps to help stay cool

Over the next day or two, the National Weather Service is forecasting temperatures in the mid- to upper-90s in some parts of South Carolina, with the heat index reaching above 100 degrees.

The heat index indicates how hot it actually feels to the body when relative humidity is combined with the air temperature. The heat index increases as the air temperature and relative humidity increase. Humid conditions make the body feel warmer.

When the body gets too hot, it uses sweat to cool off.  If that sweat is not able to evaporate, the body cannot regulate its temperature and struggles to cool itself.  When sweat evaporates, it reduces the body’s temperature

As you move about during these and other hot days to come, DHEC urges you to follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s three tips for preventing heat-related illnesses: Stay cool. Stay hydrated. Stay informed.

Stay cool:

  • Wear appropriate, lightweight clothing
  • Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully
  • Pace yourself; cut down on exercising when it is hot
  • Wear sunscreen

DO NOT LEAVE CHILDREN OR PETS IN CARS, EVEN IF THE WINDOW IS CRACKED!

Stay Hydrated

  • Drink plenty of fluids (Avoid very sugary or alcoholic drinks)
  • Replace salt and minerals lost due to sweating
  • Keep your pets hydrated

Stay Informed

  • Check for weather updates via local news
  • Know the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses
  • Monitor those at high risk:
  • Infants and young children
  • People 65 years of age or older
  • People who are overweight
  • People who overexert during work or exercise
  • People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression or poor circulation
  • Visit and closely watch adults at risk at least twice a day

Visit the CDC website for more information on extreme heat.

DHEC in the News: Older residents and heat, ticks, demolition of dilapidated apartments

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Stay cool: SCDHEC warns of dangers of rising temperatures to older residents

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Heat-related deaths and illnesses can affect anyone, but people over 65 are especially at risk, unless they take steps to protect themselves.

According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, heatstroke is the most serious heat-related illness and can damage the brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. If not treated quickly, it can cause serious complications or death.

Check for ticks: CDC warns of rise in tick-borne diseases

COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) — Tick season is in and there’s been a rise in the amount of tick-borne diseases. The Center for Disease Control has issued a warning this spring that people are more prone to tick bites and tick-borne diseases this year, than any other year in the United States. …

Common symptoms of Lyme include fever, aches and a bulls-eye rash. See symptoms of other tick-borne illnesses here.

“It’s important to examine your skin and properly remove it with tweezers,” Dr. Linda Bell of DHEC says.

Hartsville begins demolition of dilapidated apartments

HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – The city of Hartsville is knocking down the Lincoln Village Apartments, eight dilapidated buildings that have sat empty for more than 20 years.

Demolition began Wednesday afternoon on the eyesore that has been plaguing the Hartsville community. …

The city of Hartsville did asbestos studies with the state Department of Health and Environmental Control first before a bid went out for demolition, along with the grant application process, to the Department of Commerce.

Prevention is the best defense against heat-related illnesses

The National Weather Service forecast projects the next several days to be scorchers, hitting or coming close to 100 degrees or more in various parts of South Carolina.

Be careful and take steps to avoid heat-related health problems.

Prevention: The best defense

Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help you beat the heat:

  • Drink more fluids. Whether you’re active or not, it’s important to stay hydrated. Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar because they cause you to lose more body fluid. Avoid very cold drinks as well; they can cause stomach cramps.
  • If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask your physician how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  • If possible, stay indoors in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the mall or public library for a break from the heat. Just a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature soars into the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Take a cool shower or bath, or go into an air-conditioned place.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.

While anyone can suffer from heat-related illness, it’s particularly important to keep a close watch on infants and young children, people aged 65 and older, people with mental illness and those who are physically ill. Visit older adults at least twice a day and watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. And it goes without saying that infants and young children need more frequent monitoring.

For more information on heat-related illnesses, visit www.scdhec.gov/Health/DiseasesandConditions/HeatRelatedIllness.

extremeheat

Beat the Heat!

By Betsy Crick

infographic-extreme-heat

People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves. The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn’t enough. In such cases, a person’s body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs.

Several factors affect the body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly. Other conditions related to risk include age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use.

Who’s at Greatest Risk?

Because heat-related deaths are preventable, people need to be aware of who is at greatest risk and what actions can be taken to prevent a heat-related illness or death. The elderly, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk. However, even young and healthy individuals can succumb to heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather.

Prevention Guide

To protect your health when temperatures are extremely high, remember to keep cool and use common sense:

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Replace salt and minerals
  • Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully
  • Pace yourself
  • Stay cool indoors
  • Use a buddy system
  • Do not leave children in cars
  • Use common sense

For more information on how heat impacts health, please visit the DHEC website.