Summer Safety Tips

It’s back-to-school season, but the summer weather conditions persist across the country. If you live in Southern California, you probably know that the intense heat will continue for several more weeks. The heat may be bearable along the coast, but it can be unforgiving in the Inland Empire. As we enjoy the rest of the summer/vacation months, keep in mind the following heat safety tips provided by the American Red Cross. In addition, Red Cross has a few different apps you can download so that you can be notified of severe weather and emergency alerts.

  1. Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees.
  2. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  3. Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  4. If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should seek relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day in places like schools, libraries, theaters, malls, etc.
  5. Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  6. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  7. Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  8. Postpone outdoor games and activities. The Red Cross has a First Aid, Health and Safety for Coaches online course designed to give those who take it an overview of first aid and “best practices” for many first aid situations encountered by coaches.
  9. Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
  10. Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.

HEAT EXHAUSTION Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If someone is experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, get them to a cooler place, have them rest, lightly stretch the affected muscle, and replenish their fluids with a half a glass (about 4 ounces) of cool water every 15 minutes.

If someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion (cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness exhaustion), move them to a cooler place, remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If they are conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1.

HEAT STROKE LIFE-THREATENING Signs include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting and high body temperature. Call 9-1-1 immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.

Resource: http://www.redcross.org/news/article/Heat-Safety-Red-Cross-Offers-Safety-Steps-When-Temperatures-Soar

Download the Red Cross App: redcross.org/apps

Stay Cool in Your Home

Temperatures are rising everywhere this summer, and in some places, it is unbearable without using the air conditioner. Using it often will result in high utility bills, but it is also important to keep your home under a tolerable temperature. If you are looking for ways to stay cool by not using the AC, consider adopting the following methods into your lifestyle.

During the day, close your windows and do your best to keep the sunlight from coming into your home. You might be tempted to leave the window open when there’s a breeze, but you won’t benefit from the breeze if it’s warm. In addition, avoid using appliances and lights that generate a lot of heat so that the inside of your home will be lower than outside.

Switch your bed sheets to lightweight cotton, since it is a more breathable material, and will promote ventilation and airflow in your bedroom. Choose lightweight cotton for not only your sheets, but also for your clothes.

Make your own ice packs or use chilled towels, and even take a cold shower to get some instant relief from the heat. You can also put a pan or bowl of ice in front of a fan to create a make-shift “air conditioner.”

Remember to stay hydrated. Make sure your body get enough fluids, but avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol, since they will leave you dehydrated.

If you still feel like your home is unbearable, try spending some time in buildings with AC, such as your local public library or senior/community centers.

Resource: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/08/01/8-ways-to-cool-down-your-home-without-air-conditioning/

Safety Tips for the Summer Sun Lover

California is set for a hot summer, which will inevitably draw people from their homes and to the pool, beach or shady park. Make sure that you are fully protected because sun exposure can lead to burns, exhaustion, sun poisoning, and dehydration. Here are a few tips from WebMD on how to make sure your time in the California Sun is not something you will later regret.

  1. Wear a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30 and says “broad-spectrum” on the label, which means that it protects against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Put it on all over about 15 to 30 minutes before going out in the sun. Reapply at least every 2 hours and after you’ve been sweating or in the water.
  2. Limit your sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and remember that water, snow, and sand can intensify the sun’s damaging rays.
  3. Wear sunglasses, a hat, and protective clothing.
  4. Check on your medications. Ask your doctor if anything you take might make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.