City Hall Blog (archived)

Stay safe as the temperature rises

 

Summer is heating up, with North Carolina bracing for excessive temperatures and poor air quality this weekend. The City of Concord would like you remind you of the dangers of high heat, especially for those in poor health, the elderly, and those without air conditioning.
 
Children and the elderly are the most fragile when it comes to heat, but everyone is at risk. If we do not take the proper precautions and fail to take action, heat related illness can cause serious injury or death. Pay attention to those who are out in the heat and have these signs:
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Flushed or pale skin
  • Heavy sweating and headaches.
If someone is suffering from a heat-related illness, move them to a cool place, give cool water to drink, and apply ice packs or cool, wet cloths to the skin. It the victim refuses water, vomits, or loses consciousness, immediately call 911.
 
The American Red Cross provides the following heat wave Safety Tips:
  • Prepare. Discuss heat safety precautions with members of your household. Have a plan for what to do if the power goes out.
  • Dress for the heat. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays. It is also a good idea to wear hats or to use an umbrella.
  • Stay hydrated. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine, which dehydrate the body.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid high-protein foods, which increase metabolic heat.
  • Slow down and avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 and 7 a.m. Take frequent breaks.
  • Stay indoors when possible. If air-conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine. Remember that electric fans do not cool, they simply circulate the air.
  • Be a good neighbor. During heat waves, check in on family, friends and neighbors who are elderly or ill and those who do not have air conditioning.
  • Learn Red Cross first aid and CPR/AED. Click here to find and register for a class near you.
Remember our four-legged friends.  Pets and livestock will also be stressed:
  • Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it's hot outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it's extremely hot.
  • Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.
  • Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle.
  • Giving your dog a lightweight summer haircut helps prevent overheating. Shave down to a one-inch length, never to the skin, so your dog still has some protection from the sun.
  • When the temperature is very high, don't let your dog linger on hot asphalt.
More tips for staying cool are available in a June 2011 entry. For additional information about heat waves, visit redcross.org and weather.gov.