Submitted on behalf of the Bedford Police and Fire Departments
“We’re asking everyone to use caution and common sense when spending time outside this summer,” Chief Bongiorno said. “Wear sunscreen, drink lots of water, and monitor how much time you – and your children – are spending in the sun.”
“We are prepared to handle any and all heat-related incidents that arise in the coming weeks,” Chief Grunes said. “However, please do your part to avoid injury – keep a close watch on your friends, family, and neighbors.”
The American Red Cross reports that excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather events and that residents should be aware of three conditions that could occur during this stretch of hot weather:
Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen, they are caused by exposure to high heat and humidity and loss of fluids and electrolytes. Heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat
If you or someone you know is suffering from heat cramps, move the person indoors or to a cooler place and hydrate.
Heat exhaustion typically involves the loss of body fluids through heavy sweating during strenuous exercise or physical labor in high heat and humidity. Signs include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness and exhaustion.
If you see someone suffering from heat exhaustion, move the person to a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition.
Heat stroke (also known as sunstroke) is a life-threatening condition in which a person’s temperature control system stops working and the body is unable to cool itself. Signs include hot, red skin that may be dry or moist, changes in consciousness, vomiting and a high body temperature.
If you see someone suffering from heat stroke, move the person to a cool area. Quickly cool the person’s body by giving care as you would for heat exhaustion. If needed, continue rapid cooling by applying ice or cold packs wrapped in a cloth to the wrists, ankles, groin, neck and armpits.
During a heat wave, Bedford Police and Fire Departments suggest that the community follow safety precautions outlined by the American Red Cross:
- Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
- Eat small meals and eat more often.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
- Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
- Postpone outdoor games and activities and take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.
- 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. Don’t forget to monitor your pets to ensure they are not suffering from the heat.
If you see someone who is suffering from a heat-related issue, please call 911.