CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WOWK/WBOY) — While the heat in north central West Virginia wound down Saturday with the weather cooling off and turning stormy for the evening, forecasted highs for Sunday are once again in the 90s.
The National Weather Service (NWS) says hot and humid conditions may cause heat illnesses to occur. Listed below are ways to beat the heat and prevent or treat related sicknesses.
1. Stay hydrated!
One of the most important things to do during hot weather is to stay hydrated. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says to drink more water than usual.
Do not wait until you are feeling thirsty because this could mean you are already dangerously dehydrated.
The National Weather Service (NWS) says heat-related illnesses can occur when dehydration causes the body to heat too quickly or not cool down properly.
Continued below on No. 2 of this list are the signs of heat-related illnesses and first aid tips.
2. Watch for heat-related illnesses and take quick action!
The body has a hard time cooling itself during extreme heat. When hot weather hits, and your body reacts, it is important to take proper care before a heat-related illness occurs or worsens.
Symptoms: High body temperature, headache, fast and strong pulse, dizziness, nausea, confusion, passing out, and skin that is hot, red, dry or damp.
- Call 911;
- Move to a cool place;
- Lower body temperature with cool rags or a cold bath;
- Do not drink water or anything else.
Symptoms: Heavy sweating, weak pulse, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, fainting, and skin that is cold, pale or clammy.
- Move to a cool place;
- Loosen clothes;
- Lower body temperature with cool, wet clothes or a cold bath;
- Drink cold water;
- Get medical help if symptoms worsen or last more than one hour.
Symptoms: Heavy sweating during exercise and muscle pain or spasms.
- Stop exercising and move to a cool place;
- Drink water or an electrolyte drink;
- Wait for cramps to stop before exercising again;
- Seek medical help if cramps last longer than an hour, you are on a low-sodium diet, or you have a heart condition.
Symptoms: Blisters on the skin or skin that is painful, red or warm.
- Stay out of the sun until the sunburn heals;
- Put cool rags on the sunburned areas or sit in a cool bath;
- Put aloe lotion on sunburned areas;
- Do not break blisters.
Symptoms: Red clusters of small blisters that look similar to pimples (typically on the neck, chest, groin, or in elbow creases).
- Move to a cool, dry location;
- Keep the rash dry;
- Use baby powder to soothe itching and burning.
3. Look before you lock your car!
100% of child deaths in hot cars are preventable, health officials say. According to NoHeatStroke.org, 38 children die every year in a hot car, with 54% of those deaths occurring in an unattended vehicle.
A hot car can also be deadly to furry friends. You should never leave your pet in a hot vehicle, officials say.
According to the West Virginia Emergency Management Division (WVEMD), only a few minutes in a hot car can be fatal for pets, even with the windows rolled down.
The deadly risk that hot vehicles pose to both children and pets is why officials recommend “looking before you lock.”
4. Wear loose clothing!
5. Ask the ‘four questions’ before working outside!
If you plan on doing outside work, the NWS says it is important to take precautions and ask yourself four important questions:
- Do you have enough water and sunscreen?
- Do you have temporary shade?
- Do you know the signs of heat-related illnesses?
- Do you know who to dial in the case of an emergency?
Thunderstorms are expected to cool down the temperature in the afternoon, with a severe thunderstorm warning in place for Northeastern Kanawha County in West Virginia until 3:30 p.m.
A thunderstorm warning is also in place until 3:45 p.m. for Southeastern Greenup County, North Central Lawrence County, and Eastern Carter County in Kentucky.
The temperature is expected to be in the 90s on Sunday as well, making it an all-around hot weekend. Use the above tips to stay cool and subscribe to StormTracker 13 for weather updates.