Tips to keep your family safe as temperatures rise this summer


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – School is almost out and the kids are ready to head outside in the heat.

Over the past 30 years, heat stands out as the No. 1 reason for weather-related fatalities.

While we are less than a month away from the beginning of summer, there are a few things you need to know to keep yourself, your family and furry friends safe as the temperatures rise.

Taking a run is a great form of exercise, but you need to really know your limits, especially when it’s hot.

“If you feel yourself exhausted, take a break, a breather, in the shade, you don’t want to overdo it,” said Lacey Steinel, an active runner.

While that is smart advice, heat exhaustion can catch up quickly. Signs of heat exhaustion include feeling light headed, dizzy, the inability to concentrate or even feeling a chill.

Dr. Corey Slovis, Chair of Emergency Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center said, “If you are not sweating when you should be, you are about to develop heat stroke. Stop, rest, rehydrate.”

Monitoring your heart rate after an activity can also help signal if you need immediate medical attention.

“If your heart rate is exceedingly high, staying above 120, 130, there is something wrong. It should be coming down below 100,” explained Dr. Slovis.

A nice cold drink of water and slowing down often can avoid these problems, but it’s what we don’t remind ourselves to do that could lead to detrimental results.

Unfortunately, this year there have been six-related deaths with infants left inside of cars.

When the temperature outside is 80 degrees, your car can heat up to 123 degrees in just 60 minutes.

Little ones are more fragile than adults and heat up much quicker. If left in a car, we are looking at a life-threatening situation.

“When their body temperature rises to 104 degrees, their internal organs start shutting down, and by 107 we are looking at death,” said Purnime Unni, Injury Manager at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

While it could be easy to forget a sleeping child, there are simple ways to avoid it.

‘Put a reminder back there with the child. It could be a purse, it could be your cell phone, you will never forget those things,” suggested Unni.

It’s also importation to monitor your child’s hydration during the summer months. While some may not like water, there are several other foods that can do the trick.

“Plenty of fruits and vegetables, cucumbers, watermelon – all of this has high water content,” said Unni

Just like our children, we need to keep a sharp eye on our pets. The heat gets to them too.

“You are going to notice heavy panting, respiratory rate increase, you are going to notice heavy drooling, they could get lethargic, or to the point of advanced stages of seizures,” said Lauren Bluestone, Director of Metro Animal Care and Control.

While the summer is a fun time of year, it’s important to keep yourself safe.

“The more hydrated you can stay, the cooler you can stay, the better you are going to do,” said Dr. Slovis

Keep these simple tips in mind and you will be able to have fun and enjoy Middle Tennessee’s hot summer to the fullest.

Click here to read more stories featured in Summer Weather Safety Day. 

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