Summer weather brings heat related dangers

Stay hydrated in hot weather

Temperatures outdoors in Louisville have been in the 90s so far this month and are projected to stay there for the most part projections from accuweather.com show. A few days this week may see highs reach to 85 degrees; while, several days are expected to reach the mid-90s, including Friday, July 21, which is expected to get as high as 99 degrees. 
Temperatures in August are projected to stay in the low-90- degree range with some days not reaching beyond the high 80s.
Temperatures in Gibson are expected to be in the same range with a high of 98 degrees on Friday, July 21. There will be more days in the 80s during August.
Both areas will see temperatures drop into the low 70s during the night, the website states.
“If it gets between 105 and 110 with the heat index consistently, the state will recommend we open a cooling shelter, some place where you can get out of the heat,” said Jim Anderson, EMA/911/Fire Services director for Jefferson County.
By consistently, Anderson said a high temperature for two or three days in a row.
“So far, we have not had any extreme heat advisories put out by the weather service,” he said. Areas that would become cooling shelters in the county would be the Leisure Center and the Recreation Department gym. 
“Check your pets as well. You don’t want to leave dogs in the cars with the windows rolled up,” Anderson said.
One concern during days with high temperatures is heat stroke. 
Maj. Chad Parker, director of Jefferson County EMS, said symptoms of heat stroke are heavy sweating, then the sweating stops, flushed face, headaches, dehydration and muscle cramps, in that order. 
“Usually the ambulance gets called when dehydration sets in,” he said. Heat exhaustion is another concern; but, Parker said that is a sign a person is headed toward having a heat stroke.
“The main thing is people need to try to stay hydrated. Drink water. Sports drinks like Gatorade, PowerAde are fine; but, you can never go wrong with just plain water,” he said. “Water’s perfect.”
“Parents need to make sure they’re mindful of keeping their kids hydrated.”
In areas like Jefferson and Glascock counties, an ambulance may be 5 or 10 minutes away. While waiting for help to arrive, Parker said a bath in tepid water will help bring down the temperature of an effected person.
“Even adults, a cool shower, just to cool your body down. The main thing is to try to prevent heat stroke from happening. Heat stroke is not all that common. Usually there’s some kind of intervention before it gets to that point,” he said. 
Heat exhaustion happens just prior to heat stroke, he said. 
“Drink plenty of water. Encourage them (your children) to cool off and stay hydrated. Check on your neighbors, elderly people, people that you know might not have air conditioning,” Parker said.