Star City VFD gives tips to stay safe in the high temperatures

Health

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Temperatures are heating up all around the area, clear into the 90s.

The heat index may reach as high as 115 degrees.

Star City Volunteer Fire Department EMS Administrator John Hitchens said that being in the heat for too long progresses through three different stages: heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

“Heat stroke can sometimes become fatal. Your body temperature is around 103 degrees, which is very hard on your body, very hard on your brain. You’ll still have the cramping, you’ll have the muscle spasms, you’ll have the nausea, the dizziness; the sweating will basically go away. You may have damp skin, but you won’t be sweating anymore. It will be hot, dry, red skin,” said Hitchens.

These symptoms indicate that medical attention needs to be sought.

When taking children out to play, be aware of hot playground equipment.

“The playground equipment itself is going to be hot. Just because it’s providing shade, doesn’t always mean that the equipment itself isn’t also going to be at an elevated temperature. Especially, if there’s metal involved. It’s going to be very hot. It’s going to be very hot and hot to the touch for any child that is playing around the equipment,” said Hitchens.

It is advised that people beat the heat by limiting outdoor activities, wearing light clothing and drinking plenty of water.

“As long as you have sunscreen on, as long as you are covered up, as long as you limit your exposure, as long as you are drinking plenty of fluids. It’s also good to drink if you’re going to be outside for an extended period of time. If you begin to drink fluids and take in those electrolytes now, that will help you while you’re out in these conditions, if you have to be,” said Hitchens.

The Star City VFD will be launching a program that involves community checks to make sure elderly individuals or others have access to cold water in the heat.

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