As the summer heats up at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., where temperatures often hit triple digits, summer safety becomes vitally important to ensure our Airmen are able to go home to their families and mission success.
Basic safety precautions will ensure that you have a joyful, healthy, and safe summer. Working and participating in outdoor activities in hotter climates will most likely expose you to direct sunlight for lengthy periods of time.
Anthony Hurtado, 412th Test Wing Safety and Occupational Health Specialist said extreme heat causes heat-related diseases whether working or playing outdoors. Hot temperature adds stress to overexertion.
“If you do not take care when working, exercising or conducting other strenuous activities in the heat, you risk serious illness,” said Hurtado.
People who aren’t acclimated to high temperatures, have heart condition, or use drugs are more prone to heat-related sickness.
Hurtado said sunburns, heatstroke, heat cramps, and heat exhaustion are heat-related illnesses. Rapid temperature spikes owing to hotter-than-average circumstances damage the body’s temperature regulation. Unchecked symptoms might cause permanent harm if left untreated.
UV radiation from the sun or artificial UV light cause sunburns. Multiple sunburns may cause skin cancer and aging. Most Americans get skin cancer. Sunscreen and lip balm offer protection. Use SPF 30 sunscreen.
Heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke. Without treatment, this may lead to a life-threatening condition. If possible, cool the individual with cold compresses or wash their head, face, and neck with cold water. Symptoms may include heavy sweating and a rapid pulse.
Heat Stroke is the worst heat disease. The body loses temperature control. Symptoms include disorientation, slurred speech, loss of consciousness, convulsions, and heated, dry skin or excessive perspiration. Delaying treatment for heat stroke may be dangerous.
Heat cramps can be painful, involuntary muscle spasms. Muscles most often affected include those of your calves, arms and abdominal wall. Treating heat cramps: Find a cool shaded area to rest, drink water and have a snack or electrolyte replacement.
“Prevention measures include drinking plenty of water, staying indoors when it is too hot outside, wearing light clothes when it is hot, and using the buddy system. Enjoy your summer, stay safe and stay hydrated,” said Hurtado.
For more information, please visit:
Air Force Safety Center: https://www.safety.af.mil/Divisions/Occupational-Safety-Division/Summer-Safety/
CDC. (2017, June 19). Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness. Retrieved from Centers for disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heattips.html
CDC. (2022, May 13). Heat Stress – Heat Related Illness. Retrieved from The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/heatrelillness.html