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American Red Cross Urges Safety During Heat Wave
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With forecasters calling for a heat wave likely reaching the high triple-digit temperatures this week, the American Red Cross is urging residents to use caution when venturing out into the hot weather.

“We all want a summer to remember,” said Lilly Wyatt, American Red Cross Gold Country spokesperson. “Those memories can be pleasant by following simple tips to stay cool.”

The American Red Cross recommends following these simple rules when participating in outdoor activities during the hot summer weather:

• Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.

• Drink water. Carry water or juice and carry it with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body.

• Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein which increase metabolic heat.

• Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.

• Avoid strenuous activity.

• Stay indoors when possible.

• Take regular breaks when engaged in physical activity on warm days.

The American Red Cross also urges residents to take cautionary measures in recognizing heat-related illnesses:

Heat Cramps: Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position. Lightly stretch the affected muscle and replenish fluids. Give a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes. Do not give liquids with alcohol or caffeine in them as they can make conditions worse.

Heat exhaustion: Get the person out of the heat and into a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths. If the person is conscious, give cool water to drink. Give a half glass of water every 15 minutes. Let victim rest in a comfortable position, and watch carefully for changes in his or her condition.

Heat stroke: Heat stroke is a life threatening condition and help is needed fast. Call 911 or your local emergency number. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the body by immersing the victim in a cool bath or wrap the victim in wet sheets while fanning him or her. Watch for signals of breathing problems and keep the person lying down while continuing to cool them any way you can. If the victim refuses water, is vomiting or there are changes in level of consciousness, do not give anything to eat or drink.