Nash UNC Health Care CNO provides tips for dealing with the heat
Area swelters under heat wave
BY COREY DAVIS
Staff Writer, The Rocky Mount Telegram
There’s no doubt that summer has arrived as this past week the Twin Counties has encountered some sweltering days with the heat index bringing temperatures above 100 degrees, which makes it even more important for people to take extreme caution when working or doing any activity during the day.
Dr. Crystal Hayden, chief nursing officer at Nash UNC Health Care, said the hospital’s emergency department hasn’t seen an influx of heat-related medical conditions as of yet. She added heat can cause a variety of health issues, and more than 600 Americans die each year because of extreme heat.
Hayden said it’s important for everyone to take precautions given the forecast for extreme heat in the Twin Counties.
“The best preventative is avoiding the outdoors as much as possible,” she said. “Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can occur when the body cannot properly cool itself, so for those people who must be outside, it’s important to take frequent breaks with air-conditioning and drink lots of cold water. Wear light, loose-fitting clothing to allow the body to cool down more easily and wear sunscreen to prevent sunburn.”
Hayden also expressed how important it is for parents to avoid leaving their children in vehicles during this time. According to kidsandcars.org, an average of 37 children die each year from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside a vehicle.
“Do not leave a child, pet or anyone inside of a car without air conditioning running for even a minute, because interior heat can climb to extreme temperatures rapidly,” Hayden said.
Hayden said people with chronic conditions such as heart disease and obesity should take extra precautions because some medications can impede the body’s ability to self-regulate when exposed to heat.
“It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of heat stroke, which requires immediate medical attention,” Hayden said. “If your body temperature is 103 degrees or higher, you feel a fast pulse, dizziness, nausea or confusion, call 911 right away and apply ice packs to your neck and as much of your body as possible until help arrives.”
The Twin Counties should receive a little break from the extreme temperatures in the coming days, according to the National Weather Service in Raleigh. Meteorologist Mike Moneypenny said he expects temperatures to be in the low or mid-90s today with a chance for showers and a thunderstorm.
Moneypenny added local temperatures for Friday and Saturday are predicted to be in the low 90s with a higher chance for rain and thunderstorms. Sunday’s weather looks to be clear with rising temperatures in the 90s, while the forecast for the first part of next week predicts temperatures in the 80s, Moneypenny said.