DAVENPORT, Iowa — The heat is here! Temperatures in the Quad Cities are expected to rise above 90° almost every day during the week of July 26. Heat-index values will be flirt with 100° and higher.
For people planning to be outside, extra caution should be taken to help prevent heat-related illness, like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Genesis Medical Center emergency physician Dr. David Dierks shared a few tips to help stay safe outside.
- Check on elderly and sick friends, neighbors and relatives several times a day during a hot spell. The young, old and those with chronic illness are particularly vulnerable to heat illness.
- Always double check your car after driving with children or pets to avoid a fatal accident. One way of making sure you never forget them in the car is to put something important, like a phone, shoe or work material, in the back seat with them while you drive.
- Eat smaller meals and eat more frequently.
- Stay hydrated. The rule of thumb is 8 ounces of water for every 20 minutes of outdoor activity.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks. Both speed up the loss of water in your body.
- Save outdoor work for early in the morning or later at night, when temperatures are lower and the sun is less strong.
- Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. If you're swimming, make sure to reapply frequently.
- If you or someone you're with begins to feel dizzy or nauseous, find shade or go inside.
- If you or someone you're with begins to vomit or stops sweating altogether, seek medical treatment.
According to Genesis Medical Center, more than 600 people die every year in the U.S. due to excessive heat. Many of the deaths being preventable.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale, or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and exhaustion. Body temperature may be normal, or is likely to be rising.
Symptoms of heat stroke include hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing. Body temperature can be 105°F or higher. If the person was sweating from heavy work or exercise, skin may be wet; otherwise, it will feel dry.