Forecasters are calling for temperatures to climb into the upper 90s over the next few days, and those temperatures--combined with high humidity--could prove dangerous for individuals who are unprepared, the American Red Cross of the Lehigh Valley said in a press release issued earlier this week.
To help local residents stay safe, the Red Cross is advising adherence to the following safety tips:
- Never leave children or pets in parked vehicles--even for a few minutes.
- Stay hydrated by drinking fluids throughout the day and avoiding alcohol and caffeinated beverages.
- Wear loose-fitting, light-colored, lightweight clothing and wide-brimmed hats.
- Wear eye protection and apply sunscreen if you will be spending time outside. Remember to reapply sunscreen if you will be out for an extended period of time.
- If you will be working outside, take frequent breaks and try to schedule your work so it's not during the hottest parts of the day.
- Check on the elderly, the young, the sick and the overweight, because they are more likely to be affected by the extreme heat.
- Make sure that pets have plenty of shade and cool water, if they are outside.
- Head to air conditioned public places such as malls, stores or libraries if you don't have A/C at home.
- Check the contents of your home emergency preparedness kit in case of a power outage.
- Discuss heat safety and precautions with the other members of your household.
If you encounter someone who may be suffering from heat stroke--which can be life threatening--call 911 immediately. The symptoms of heat stroke include hot, red skin that may be moist or dry; vomiting; high temperature; and loss of consciousness. The symptoms of heat exhaustion, which precedes heat stroke, include heavy sweating, headache, dizziness, weakness, fatigue and cool, moist, pale or flushed skin.