By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Everyone has probably noticed, dangerously hot weather has arrived in Oklahoma prompting the American Red Cross to remind everyone of the steps they should take to stay safe during hot weather.
“High temperatures, humidity and hot, indoor environments can quickly cause heat-related emergencies,” said Ken Garcia, American Red Cross Serving Oklahoma spokesperson. “Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.”
The Red Cross has some simple reminders to help beat the heat.
Never leave children or pets alone in vehicles. The temperature inside can reach 120 degrees within a few minutes.
Slow down, take frequent breaks and drink more water than usual – even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid strenuous exercise in the hottest part of the day and postpone outdoor games and activities.
Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors, they absorb the sun’s rays.
If working outdoors, take frequent breaks and use the buddy system to watch out for each other.
Check on family, friends and neighbors, particularly those who do not have air conditioning, the elderly and those who spend much of their time alone. If possible, persons without a/c should choose places to go to for relief during the warmest part of the day such as libraries, theaters, or malls.
Animals need shelter too, and when possible bring them inside. At the least, provide them plenty of water, a shady rest area and check on them frequently.
Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If someone is experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, get them to a cooler place, have them rest, lightly stretch the affected muscle, and replenish their fluids with a half a glass (about 4 ounces) of cool water every 15 minutes
If someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion (cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness exhaustion), move them to a cooler place, remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person.
If they are conscious, give them small amounts of cool water to drink. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
People can learn how to prevent and respond to heat-related and other emergencies by taking a Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED or Advance Child Care Training course. A variety of online and in-class options are available at redcross.org/takeaclass.
The free Red Cross Emergency App provides instant access to expert heat safety tips.
Users also have the option of receiving alerts for excessive heat watches, warnings and heat advisories. The Red Cross Pet First Aid App has steps pet owners should take to help keep their furry friends safe during hot weather.
A not-for-profit organization, the American Red Cross depends on volunteers and the financial support of the public to perform its mission.
On Friday, August 7, Red Cross of Central and Western Oklahoma will host Rendezvous for Red Cross. Proceeds from the evening will help to support disaster services, community education and preparedness, health and safety services, service to the Armed Forces and International Services.
The event will be held at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd Street, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. This year, the City of Oklahoma City will be honored with the Ruby Award for Humanitarian Service.
Individual tickets are $150 each. For sponsorship information, please contact Rhonda Giles at 405-228-9551. To learn more, visit www.redcross.org/okc.