For the past nine days, the temperature has been over 110°F, and over 100°F for the past nineteen days. My wife and I have had some close calls in the last week, and we didn’t realize the potential danger we were in.
Heat stress can affect many outdoor and indoor activities. To prevent heat-related illnesses (HRI) and injuries, everyone subject to this kind of heat should develop and use a comprehensive heat-related illness prevention program.
In occupational settings (think firefighters and others), heat stress is the combination of the heat your body produces (metabolic heat), environmental factors (for example, temperature and humidity), and clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE). While many workers need to wear PPE for protection from workplace chemical, physical, and biological hazards, PPE can increase the risk for HRIs. Some firefighting stations include IV solutions on ice for their responders! Whether at home or on the job temperature controls might include those that: Increase air velocity (if air temperature is below 95°F); think fans!. Use reflective or heat-absorbing shielding or barriers, Insulation foil in windows and openings to external temperatures. Reduce steam leaks, wet floors, or humidity. Good practices include the following:
- Implement a buddy system and routinely check on each other to ensure they make use of available water and shade and do not have symptoms of an HRI.
- Monitor the weather.
- Limit time in heat and/or increase rest time in a cool environment.
This information outlines crucial elements that should be included in a comprehensive heat-related illness prevention program for everyone in your family.
One final note: YOUR PETS (especially dogs) are more sensitive to heat than you are. PROTECT YOUR PETS!
Thanks for reading. Protect yourself and send this post to someone else.