- People at risk for heat stroke include extremes of age, dehydration, obesity, poor physical condition, lack of air-conditioning, and social isolation.
- Other risk factors include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, alcohol abuse, and a number of medications.
- A car can heat up 19 degrees in just 10 minutes. Cracking a window does not help.
- Young children are particularly at risk, as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s.
Tips for Preventing Heatstroke
Reduce the number of deaths from heatstroke by remembering to ACT.
- Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving a child alone in a car. Remember to keep your car locked so kids don’t get in it on their own.
- Create reminders. Keeping a stuffed animal in your child’s car seat when it’s empty, and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat. Or place and secure your phone, briefcase or purse in the backseat when traveling with your child.
- Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911.
- Check on elderly people who live alone.
- Seek air-conditioning. The New Hampshire Electric Assistance Program offers discounts to low income families. http://www.puc.nh.gov/Consumer/NHEAP-brochure.pdf
Federal programs such as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) help adults 65 and older who have limited incomes to cover the cost of air conditioners and utility bills.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of cool water, clear juices, and other liquids that don’t contain alcohol or caffeine. Alcohol and caffeine can dehydrate you.
- Dress appropriately. Wear loose, light-colored clothes to stay cool.
- Among preventable injuries, drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1 – 4 years old.
- Children 1 – 4 years old are more likely to drown in a pool.
- Children 5 years and older are more likely to drown in natural water, such as ponds, lakes and rivers.
- The risk of drowning in open water increases with age: The average 10-year-old, for example, is three times more likely to drown in open water than in a pool.
Tips for Swimming Safety
- Watch kids when they are in or around water, without any distractions.
- Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult.
- Older children should swim with a partner every time.
- Teach children how to swim. Every child is different, so enroll children in swim lessons when they are ready.
- Make sure kids learn these five water survival skills and that they are able to:
- Step or jump into water over their heads and return to the surface
- Float or tread water for one minute
- Turn around in a full circle and find an exit
- Swim 25 yards to an exit and then exit the water
- If in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder
- Swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool. Children need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.
- Adults should learn what to do in an emergency. Learning CPR and basic water rescue skills may help you save someone’s life.