The Heat is On: Vital Tips for Heat Safety, Emergency Response

| June 28, 2012
Webster University Heat Tips

These flowers can stand hours in 100-degree heat without water. You cannot. Be safe in the heat!

The summer is upon us. Weather forecasters are predicting record temps in June and July. The body can typically accommodate one or two hot days fairly easily, however an extended period of elevated temperatures tends to have a cumulative effect on us.

With that in mind, Webster University clinical nurse Suzanne M. Kehder offers some key information about heat illness and how to stay healthy:

A heat emergency can turn deadly quickly. Knowing what to do until help arrives can save a life.  This information is vital to know when seconds count.

If you are out in the heat, avoid alcohol, limit caffeine, take frequent breaks, drink water or electrolyte solutions such as Gatorade (which helps replace important electrolytes lost in sweat), wear loose fitting and light colored clothing and pay attention to your body by watching for the symptoms listed.

Heat Exhaustion

  • Muscle cramps
  • Sweating
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness

Heat Stroke

  • Confusion
  • Strange behavior
  • Vomiting
  • Inability to drink
  • Red, hot, dry skin (may stop sweating)
  • Shallow breathing
  • Seizures

What to do if you have these symptoms:

  • CALL PUBLIC SAFETY: At the home campus, ext. 6911 or 314-968-6911.
  • Move to the shade if possible.
  • Loosen tight clothing/if able to drink – give sips of sports drink or water.
  • Sponge with cool water and fan.

This information is brought to you by the Student Health Services and Public Safety departments of Webster University. This is not an exhaustive list of responses to heat emergencies; it is a guide to help you take immediate action until trained help arrives. Always call ext. 6911 or 968-6911 when on campus for immediate attention 24/7.

Submitted by Suzanne M. Kehder, RN BSN, University Clinical Nurse, Student Health Services

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