What to know about the Summer Heat

  It’s no secret that summer brings out the best memories! From summer cookouts, time spent playing in the sun, pool parties, and camping out, everyone is out and about in New York! However, that also means Summer Heat ! A heat wave predicted to scorch much of the central and eastern U.S. this week has left many already-sweaty Americans groaning. The unusually high temperatures could lead to power outages, whiny kids, unhappy pets … and bring about serious safety concerns.

Excessive heat will impact tens of millions of people from the Midwest to the East Coast today through the weekend! The max heat index will reach well over 100 degrees in locations such as Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Washington D.C., New York City, and Boston.

Heatstroke

Normally characterized by a change in mental state, confusion, and lack of sweating. On the other hand, dehydration is easily spotted by dizziness, Dry mouth, increase in thirst, and weakness. If either get too severe, it can be very damaging to your body. The one sure way to avoid either of these is to stay hydrated!!

Heatstroke and heat exhaustion are illnesses caused by exposure to extreme heat. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can progress into heatstroke, which may be life-threatening.
A person typically experiences this type of heatstroke when they are indoors without air conditioning, and they may not be engaging in any physical activity. It can take several days of high temperatures for non-exertional heatstroke to occur, and it is common during extreme heat waves.

Exertional heatstroke occurs in people whose bodies can no longer adapt to rising temperatures while exercising or working. This condition can develop within a few hours, and it usually affects people who are spending time outdoors.

Spending time in closed cars puts small children and pets at high risk of heatstroke. The CDC estimate that when the temperature outdoors is 80ºF, the temperature inside a closed car rises to 109ºF within 20 minutes. The hotter it is outside, the faster the temperature rises inside a vehicle.

If a person exhibits any symptom of heatstroke, contact emergency services immediately. To treat it, a doctor may:

  • apply ice packs to the neck, armpits, and groin
  • spray cool mists
  • support any injured organ systems
  • use a specialized cooling blanket
  • administer intravenous fluids that promote cooling and hydration

Stay hydrated

Normally when you are hot, your body tries to keep you cool by sweating. That process is less efficient in extreme temperatures, however, even though your body keeps doing it.

On average, men should drink about 3.7 liters of water a day, while women should drink 2.7 liters! Also, making sure you’re staying cool in the summer heat can help avoid heat related injuries! When you feel yourself getting too hot, or if you feel any of those symptoms, sit down and cool off in the shade or in an ACed building!  

A lot of people don’t realize that if you’re feeling thirsty, you are already dehydrated. When you are thirsty, you are probably 1% dehydrated. As your body becomes further dehydrated, your brain function begins to become impaired.

 

If you’re starting to feel sick, you might as well cool yourself off and then get checked out,

symptoms include nausea, muscle cramps, loss of coordination or general sick feelings. Heat-related illnesses need to be treated immediately, she said, and a cold water bath is widely regarded as the most effective way to lower body temperature. 

Check on vulnerable groups

In New York City and in many other areas of the country, the government opens up cooling centers in public spaces when temperatures are predicted to be dangerously high. The year’s first heatwave is expected to hit New York City this weekend, with temperatures reaching over 95 degrees for three days. While officials predict it won’t last as long as the city’s longest heatwave in August 1953, which persisted for 12 insufferable days, this weekend’s temperatures, with a heat index over 105 degrees, will be the hottest felt in NYC in the last seven years. The city on Wednesday opened roughly 500 cooling centers across the five boroughs to provide relief to those who are most vulnerable during the heatwave. 

The city’s cooling centers will be open July 17 until July 21. Public libraries, community facilities, and senior centers, and other sites will offer a spot to cool off. Those without air conditioning in their homes, the elderly, and those who are pregnant are especially vulnerable to extreme heat.

Other places to beat this heat for free this week include spray showers at the city’s parks and playgrounds, public pools (with hours extended to 8 p.m.), and beaches (open late until 7 p.m.), whether in NYC or sandy shores just outside of the city. And those 18 and older can ask your local firehouse to uncap a fire hydrant and have it fitted spray cap, one way New Yorkers have been cooling off since 1896.

 

Sunburn

Getting a sunburn can be anywhere from pain to the touch to 3rd degree burns and blisters. That is why sun protection should be taken seriously during the summer time! A sunburn is generally caused when you don’t wear sunscreen or when you forget to reapply it. Even waterproof sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours!

Sunburn is the term for red, sometimes swollen, and painful skin caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. Sunburn can vary from mild to severe.

The extent depends on skin type and amount of exposure to the sun. Sunburn is a serious risk factor for skin cancer.

Sunburn can occur in less than 15 minutes, but the harm is often not immediately obvious.

After the exposure, skin may turn red in as little as 30 minutes, but most often takes 2-6 hours. Pain is usually most extreme 6-48 hours after exposure. The burn continues to develop for 24-72 hours, sometimes followed by peeling skin in 3-8 days.

Stay out of the sun

Avoid spending extended periods of time outside, if at all possible.

One of the best cooling techniques if you are outside, is to get your clothing wet with cold water. This will decrease your skin temperature and body temperature.

However, we all know that at some point someone we know, or even ourselves, will eventually get a sunburn. So how do we find relief? It is important to start treatment for sunburn as soon as possible. Sunburn can lead to permanent skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer. Wearing loose fitting clothes that don’t cling to the sensitive burn will help! Also, aloe vera, whether it be the raw plant or the salve, has been known to soothe burning pain! 

 

Burns

We see burn injuries rise up in the summertime!! Adults who aren’t paying attention when they’re grilling out is the biggest number of burns we see! There are 3 million cases a year,  most of which happen during the summer in adults ages 19-40! Depending on how severe the burn is, is going to show you how to handle the situation.

There are three primary types of burns: first-, second-, and third-degree. Each degree is based on the severity of damage to the skin, with first-degree being the most minor and third-degree being the most severe. Damage includes:

  • first-degree burns: red, nonblistered skin
  • second-degree burns: blisters and some thickening of the skin
  • third-degree burns: widespread thickness with a white, leathery appearance

There are also fourth-degree burns. This type of burn includes all of the symptoms of a third-degree burn and also extends beyond the skin into tendons and bones.

When handling a minor burn, washing your hands with antibacterial soap is the first step. Next, you’ll want to run COOL, not cold or hot, water over your hand. This will give you some relief. After, apply ointment and wrap it up! Anything higher than a second degree burns needs medical attention to properly care for your burn. 

Excluding fourth-degree burns, third-degree burns are the most severe. They cause the most damage, extending through every layer of skin.

There is a misconception that third-degree burns are the most painful. However, with this type of burn the damage is so extensive that there may not be any pain because of nerve damage.

Depending on the cause, the symptoms third-degree burns can exhibit include:

  • waxy and white color
  • char
  • dark brown color
  • raised and leathery texture
  • blisters that do not develop

Without surgery, these wounds heal with severe scarring and contracture. There is no set timeline for complete spontaneous healing for third-degree burns.

Never attempt to self-treat a third-degree burn. Call a doctor immediately. While you’re waiting for medical treatment, raise the injury above your heart. Don’t get undressed, but make sure no clothing is stuck to the burn.

 

 

Summertime is such a fun time for you, your family, and your friends. It’s a time for laughing, making memories, and hanging out in the sun! That’s why we are here to make sure you guys stay safe and healthy this summer! We know all too well about the dangers that come with summer, and we are here to make sure you can enjoy it to the absolute maximum!