Safety and hot summer temperatures


SIDNEY — The good ole’ days of summer are here!

“It’s predicted that we’re going to see 85 degrees on Wednesday, 87 degrees on Thursday, 90 degrees on Friday and 87 degrees on Saturday, the Fourth of July,” said Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart during his weekly interview.

And with those hot temperatures comes the possibility of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. And the two conditions don’t discriminate when it comes to age.

“Last year, 28 kids in the United States were left in cars and died,” said Lenhart. “More than 9,000 people in America died of heat stroke or heat exhaustion.”

Hundreds of pets also die each year because they are left in a hot vehicle, he said.

Citizens over the age of 65 who might have an illness or chronic health problem, be on medication and are overweight are candidates for suffering from heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

“I was surprised to read that kids playing football and have a heat stroke are the third largest cause of death of kids,” he said.

Lenhart cautioned that it doesn’t have to be hot outside for the inside temperature of a vehicle to become dangerous.

“If the temperature outside is 60 degrees,” he said, “a car’s temperature can be 110 degrees inside because of all the windows.”

Lenhart said the signs of heat stroke include:

• A body temperature of 103 degrees.

• Skin is flushed, hot to the touch or dry.

• The person stops sweating.

• The person starts breathing heavily.

• The person complains of a headache.

“Many people go outside for recreation or they work outside,” said Lenhart.

The sheriff provided some tips if you spend a lot of time outside during the summer.

• Pace yourself.

• Take numerous breaks.

• Find shade to take a break under.

• Work in the early morning hours or late afternoon hours. The hottest time of the day is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Your body will adjust to working outside,” he said.

Other tips include staying hydrated, drink fluids before going outside to work or play and look out for your coworker.

“When my grandfather and father were working on the farm, they wore long sleeves shirts, bandanas and a hat. Those all protected them from the sun and heat,” said Lenhart.

He said with the days getting hotter, it’s a good idea to check on elderly neighbors and friends to make sure they are doing OK. Make sure they have air conditioning or are running fans to help keep them cool.

“I’m sure some cooling centers will be opening up,” he said. “The big box stores are a good place to go to cool down and take a walk.”

And what should you do if you think a person is suffering from heat stroke or heat exhaustion?

“Find a shady spot for the person to sit under,” said Lenhart. “Then loosen their clothing. Give them water and fluids — but no alcoholic beverages. Use wet towels and cool water to help them cool down.

“Then make a judgment call on whether you need to call 911 or not,” he said.

By Melanie Speicheer

[email protected]

The Sidney Daily News conducts a weekly interview to update readers with news from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, 555 Gearhart Road, Sidney.

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