Hot and humid conditions are in the forecast for this week and the weekend for Butler County with temperatures that haven’t been seen since last year.
Temperatures are expected to reach around 90 degrees with the humidity index reaching into the 60s and low 70s and the UV Index reading at very high.
Those conditions can cause the weather to feel like it’s the upper 90s and create dangerous situations such as children and pets dying if left unattended in cars or workers or athletes suffering from heat stroke.
With the heat and humidity being high, it can take only 10 minutes for a car to reach temperatures of more than 100 degrees.
Here are five things that can help keep you and your family safe as temperatures climb:
- Keep yourself and others out of the heat. Cincinnati Children’s Professor of Clinical Pediatrics in the Division of Emergency Medicine and Co-Director of the Comprehensive Children’s Injury Center Mike Gittelman advised people to “stay in the shade as much as possible” and make sure that children and pets aren’t left in hot cars. According to a Cincinnati Children’s blog post, “when left in a hot vehicle, a young child’s body temperature may increase three to five times as quickly as an adult.” Develop a system to remember that children are in the back of the car, such as leaving a purse in the backseat, and lock vehicles to make sure that children don’t play in them. Call 911 if you see a child alone in a hot car, and if they are in distress get them out of the car immediately and help them cool down by spraying them with water.
- Monitor outside activity. “If your kid is out playing, make sure you’re not just like, ‘ok I’ll see you at dinner,’” Gittelman said. Instead, check on children every couple of hours when they’re outside. Gittelman recommended taking water breaks more often than usual, so “if you have two hour water breaks you want to go to one hour water breaks.” If a child is tired after playing in the heat, have them rest in an air-conditioned space.
- Know the warning signs for heat-related injuries. According to Gittelman, there are three main types of heat-related emergencies. Heat cramps in abdominal and leg muscles can develop when playing sports outside. Pale skin, profuse sweating, nausea, dizziness, weakness and fainting can indicate heat exhaustion. Most dangerously, heat stroke can result in flushed skin, temperatures up to 104 degrees, altered mental status and seizures.
- Know how to treat heat stroke. If you suspect that someone is having a heat stroke, call 911 immediately. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, according to a Cincinnati Children’s heat safety letter, move the person to a shady or air-conditioned place and soak them in cool water, but not to the point that they start shivering. Fanning them can increase water evaporation and cooling. Prop up their feet to help counteract shock, and if the person is conscious have them drink as much cool water as possible. Though not as severe, the treatment for heat exhaustion is similar, and the letter additionally recommends undressing the afflicted person down to their underwear to help their body release heat in these cases. If heat exhaustion doesn’t go away or gets worse, seek medical attention.
- If heat-related injuries do occur, rest. “If a kid comes home and they’re not acting right and they seek medical attention, let them take a couple of days off,” Gittelman said.
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