Summer heat is breaking records across the country, and experts don’t predict much relief from high temperatures in August. Heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States, and Kunkel Ambulance urges the community to be prepared and keep safety in mind throughout the summer.
“High temperatures can cause serious injury and even death if precautions aren’t taken,” said Randy Sutherland, director of operations for Kunkel Ambulance. “Knowing the signs of heat-related illness and what to do when you recognize them will help keep your family safe this summer.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that an average of 658 deaths occurred in the United States from heat-related illness in the past year. During heat waves, when temperatures reach 85 to 100 degrees for at least three consecutive days, knowing the tips to prevent heat-related illness is critical.
While everyone is at risk, the most susceptible groups to heat are senior citizens and young children. The elderly do not adjust as well to sudden changes in temperature and are more likely to take prescription medicine that impairs the body’s ability to regulate temperature. Additionally, young athletes and outdoor workers also are at risk for heat-related illness during long outdoor practices and workdays.
Follow these steps to stay safe:
The most serious of heat-related illnesses is heatstroke, which occurs when the body is unable to control its temperature. When heat is excessive, body temperature rises rapidly and cannot decrease on its own. In critical cases, body temperature rises to 106 degrees or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. This can lead to permanent disability, or even death, if emergency treatment is not provided.
Warning signs of heatstroke vary but may include:
If you see or experience any symptoms of heatstroke, immediately call 9-1-1. Attempt to cool down the patient by taking him or her to a shady or air-conditioned area and decrease body temperature with cold water or any means possible, such as ice packs or cool water from a garden hose. Though it seems counterintuitive, do not give the patient any fluids to drink – heatstroke can lead to vomiting or loss of consciousness, and the patient could choke – and monitor the patient’s body temperature until emergency services arrive.
About Kunkel Ambulance
Since 1939, Kunkel Ambulance has provided excellent emergency and nonemergency ambulance services in the City of Utica and Oneida County in the Mohawk Valley of Upstate New York and provides mutual aid service to a large portion of Oneida and Herkimer counties. Every Kunkel ambulance is staffed with highly skilled, certified paramedics and EMTs who are trained in the latest lifesaving technology and emergency protocols.
Kunkel Ambulance is a regional branch of the national Priority Ambulance network.