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Heat

Elderly man wiping sweat off his foreheadIn Lenexa, we can experience heat waves – prolonged periods of excessive heat and humidity – which can cause heat illnesses. Most heat illnesses occur because the person was overexposed to heat or over-exercised for their physical condition. Older adults, young children and people who are sick or overweight are more susceptible to heat illnesses.  

Preparing for extreme heat

You can do a few things in your home to beat the heat:

  • Check your air conditioning ducts for proper insulation.

  • Install temporary window reflectors, such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.  

  • Cover windows that receive sun with drapes, shades awnings or louvers.

  • Keep your storm windows up all year.

  • Weather-strip your doors and window sills to keep cool air in.


During extreme heat 

During times of extreme heat, it’s best to stay indoors, if possible, to limit your exposure to the sun. Other tips include:  

  • Spend the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, shopping malls, movie theaters or community centers.  

  • Eat well-balanced, light and regular meals.  

  • Drink plenty of water and limit your alcohol intake.  

  • Dress is loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing that cover your skin as much as possible.  

  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and head.  

  • Check on family and friends who do not have air-conditioning.  

  • Never leave children or pets alone in vehicles.  

  • Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day, and take frequent breaks. 


First aid for heat illnesses 

Condition

Symptoms

How to treat

Sunburn

Skin redness, pain, swelling, blisters, fever, headaches

  • Take a shower using soap to remove oils that may block pores.

  • Apply dry, sterile dressing to blisters.

Heat cramps

Painful spasms in your legs and abdominal muscles, heavy sweating

  • Move to a cooler location.

  • Lightly stretch and gently massage the muscles.

  • Drink up to a half-glass of cool water every 15 minutes.

Heat exhaustion

Heavy sweating, cool, pale or flushed skin, weak pulse, fainting, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, nausea, headaches

  • Lie down in a cool place.

  • Loosen or remove your clothing.

  • Apply cool, wet clothes.

  • Drink up to a half-glass of cool water every 15 minutes.

  • Seek medical attention if vomiting occurs.

Heat stroke

High body temperature (105 degrees or more); hot, red, dry skin; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing; lack of sweating

  • Call 911 immediately.

  • Move the person to a cool place.

  • Remove the person’s clothing

  • Try a cool bath or wet sheet to reduce the person’s body temperature.