TAVARES — With summer temperatures sweltering, the Lake County Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management Division, and Lake County Health Department would like to remind residents about the dangers of heat exhaustion and tips for preventing it.
The National Weather Service in Melbourne issued a heat advisory for Lake County today from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The advisory states:
“A persistent deep high pressure system over the Florida peninsula will continue to produce above normal temperatures across east central Florida today. With dewpoints in the low to mid 70s, and temperatures in the mid to upper 90s, dangerous heat index values can be expected for most of the afternoon. Heat index readings are expected to reach 105 to 109 this afternoon. A heat advisory means that a period of hot temperatures is expected. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible.”
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, people with high blood pressure and people working or exercising in a hot environment. Warning signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting. The skin may be cool and moist. The victim's pulse rate will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow.
If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke. Seek medical attention immediately if symptoms are severe or the victim has heart problems or high blood pressure. Otherwise, help the victim to cool off and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last longer than one hour. If heat exhaustion is suspected, cooling measures that can be effective include drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages, as directed by your physician, resting is an air-conditioned environment, taking a cool shower, bath or sponge bath, wearing lightweight clothing and wearing sunscreen of 30 spf to prevent sunburn, which damages the skin's ability to dissipate heat.
Tips that can help you stay cool and prevent heat-related illnesses include:
- EAT RIGHT — Eat well-balanced, light and regular meals.
- DRINK WATER — Drink plenty of water regularly. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney or liver disease; are on fluid-restrictive diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake.
- SKIP ALCOHOL — Though beer and alcoholic beverages appear to satisfy thirst, these types of drinks can actually cause further body dehydration.
- DRESS RIGHT — Wear loose-fitting clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Lightweight, light-colored clothing reflects heat and sunlight helping to maintain normal body temperature.
- WEAR A HAT — Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
- USE BUDDY SYSTEM — Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. If you must work in extreme heat, use the buddy system and take frequent breaks.