Health & Safety

May 6, 2016

With temperatures rising, prevent heat injuries

By Kim Garcia, Safety and Occupational Health Specialist
Garrison Safety Office image
Drinking water often, taking breaks and limiting time in the heat can help prevent heat illness.

National Training Center temperatures can soar as high as 119°F in summer months.

In May the temperature will begin to climb in excess of 100°F and continue into October. The night temperatures in July and August can, at times, be in the low to mid 90s. These extreme temperatures can be dangerous, causing life threatening injuries and possible death.

Who Is Affected? Exposure to extreme summer conditions puts each person at risk of heat illness, especially during outdoor activities. Children are at greater risk than adults for heat stress and need extra attention when outside.

What Is Heat Illness? The body normally cools itself by sweating. During hot weather, sweating isn’t enough. Body temperatures can rise to dangerous levels if precautions are not taken. Heat illnesses range from heat rash and heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke can result in death and requires immediate medical attentions.

How Can Heat Illness Be Prevented? Remember three simple words: water, rest and shade. Drinking water often, taking breaks, and limiting time in the heat can help prevent heat illness. Drink plenty of water, at least two to four glasses each hour on average. Know the signs of heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Learn and know the proper procedures for each. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, a wide brimmed hat to keep your head cool and always wear sunscreen. Check the sunscreen protection factor and follow the directions. Schedule outdoor activities carefully to limit exposure during the hottest times of the day, usually 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Always use a buddy system while playing or working outdoors – it could save your life.

Beat the HEAT!

Hydrate. Whether you feel thirsty or not, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Educate yourself. Keep up with the latest temperature and heat index forecasts.

Act quickly when heat illness is suspected. Seek medical attention immediately.

Take it easy. Avoid over exertion and take breaks in air conditioning or shade.

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