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Misters For The Patio- A Practical Solution For Cooling Down

The hot weather isn’t over for this season. In fact, in regions across the United States, summer is reaching high-temperature records for 2021. People who work outdoors and homeless people who live outside are at a higher risk of suffering heat-related illnesses. 

This article will identify the differences in heat-related conditions and trends worldwide, including more outdoor fans and misters.   

What are heat-related Illnesses?

1. Heat syncope 

Heat syncope includes the person becoming faint or light-headed due to too much heat in their body. Additionally, when people are outside in the extreme heat and are either exerting themselves or just becoming overheated without exertion, then they need to keep hydrated. 
When the body begins to dehydrate and lose its ability to cool down through perspiration, it could be heat syncope. Have the person sit down, provide them water, and get them out of the sun and into air conditioning if possible. 

2. Heat cramps 

Many years ago, I remembered an NFL player from the MN Vikings named Korey Stringer. He was outside for football practice on a scorching day.
Korey complained of heat cramps, especially in his legs. He described it as “feeling like a hot poker is pressing against them.” The cramps were the least of his problems that day as his body temperature was 108.8 as he arrived at the hospital.
The early signals were heat cramps. The professional football player’s muscles essentially became overheated, and it spiraled downward fast. As a result, he died from heatstroke the next day.  

3. Heat edema

Swelling can happen to a person outside in extreme heat for an extended time. Moreover, the blood vessels expand in heat, and if the person had been sitting or standing long, their ankles, feet, and hands become swollen.
The swelling pools downward to the hands and feet, which is why in other words, gravity influencing its direction. Sometimes it affects older adults more because of circulation issues caused by aging.
As with other heat-related illnesses, moving the person to an air-conditioned area or shady is imperative.  

4. Heat tetany

This heat illness is odd and more unknown to people. People exercising or stressing their muscles and body outside on a scorching hot day can start with muscle spasms.
Additionally, the symptoms include feeling pins and needles in the muscle affected. The person also may have breathing difficulties, such as: breathing deeper and very quickly (sometimes called hyperventilating or over-breathing), causing a decrease in gases (carbon dioxide) in the blood.
Heat tetany leaves the person struggling to breathe as they become light-headed, dizzy, and experience heart racing. Similarly, as is the treatment for all heat-related illnesses, removing the person from the direct sun and into shade or air-conditioning is vital. 

5. Heat rash

A rash will start from the skin being incredibly irritated when a person sweats to an extreme. Heat rash is relatively common, and it usually goes away on its own.
Using ice packs, wearing lightweight clothing, and cooling off in front of a blowing fan can all be effective.
Some people with heat rash develop itching of the skin. Using hydrocortisone or topical calamine lotion will help stop the itch.  

6. Heat exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is indicative of the person suffering from profuse sweating, ragged and fast breathing, and complaining of dizziness. When checking their pulse, it will be possibly faint and weak.  
The number one thing to do is get the person out of the sun and into an area with a lowered temperature, preferably inside an air-conditioned space. 
Insist that they sit down while you find them some water to drink.  
Exhaustion may turn to heatstroke if the person doesn’t get out of the heat and into a cold room.  

 7. Heatstroke

Heatstroke is a condition that is the most severe and dangerous. A person who is experiencing heatstroke is in grave danger. Their internal body temperature has reached a level that is at least 104 degrees Fahrenheit and often higher. 
When you are with a person whose skin is dry, breathing is ragged and fast, and complaining of dizziness, the symptoms are a strong indicator of heatstroke. A strong pulse can be detected when a person is suffering heatstroke. 
Heatstroke can become grave in a hurry. As a respondent, it is vital to assist this person out of the heat/sun before calling 911. If it’s possible to remove layers of clothing, do so.
If you are in a home, there are several ways that you can cool off the person as fast as possible.  
These strategies include running cold water into the bathtub and then have them get in the bathtub.
You could add ice to the water, which will more efficiently cool down the person.
If the bathtub is not an option, another way to cool down fast involves soaking a sheet or large towel in cold water and wrapping the person while setting a fan directly on them.  

The Stats Related to Heat-related Illnesses

According to the CDC, 658 people succumb to extreme heat, with men aged 85+ years old being the highest.  Children aged 1-17 years old are the lowest age group. 

People who are at most significant risk:

  • Babies and children 4 yrs. and below
  • People 65 years of age and older
  • Overweight people and those with medical conditions
  • Socially isolated people
  • Poor people
  • People who have been drinking alcohol and who take certain medications that hinder the body’s ability to regulate its temperature may be at the highest risk. In drug classes, some medications included are anti-depressants, antihistamines, antipsychotics, and diuretics.
  • Athletes practicing outdoors in extreme heat situations without taking any precautions may be at higher risk

Heat Response Plans In Some Communities

Many communities began responding to the heat.
Plans included the specific roles and responsibilities of the government officials were to react to the heat. Planning should be happening before all heatwaves. 
Plans may include identifying the local population that is at a heightened risk of developing heat-related illnesses. This plan should consist of those previously listed as they are high risk. 

What Some Cities Are Doing to Mitigate the Heat

Around the community, misting systems and fans were showing up more and more.
There has been a surge of misters showing up at restaurants, parks, gyms, theme parks, significant outdoor events (concerts, art festivals, etc.), and bus stops.
With the addition of misters and fans in these areas, the reality of heat affecting communities in more prominent ways than ever is evident.  Climate change is taking place by the ever-increasing level of fossil fuels in our world.
My educated hypothesis is that seeing misters and fans in more places will soon become the norm. 

In Summary

Earth will need to find solutions to reprieve from hotter and more dangerous weather for all who live on this planet. 
A large difference in the way that we respond to the heat is becoming more educated.
Altogether, over-heating and proper treatment are issues that may need to be studied and used more effectively.
Take extreme caution when drinking alcohol when a temperature is a sweltering number effectively in our current reality.
It is integral for people to act on knowing the importance of keeping hydrated as just the beginning.  Trying to be out of the sun during peak times is vital. 
Drinking alcohol when the sweltering heat is a factor should be taken very cautiously.
Be careful to prevent children from playing in small spaces where they can be in danger.  
An example is never leaving your trunk open. Children are attracted to areas where they can close themselves in, like a car or trunk.
Make plans to check on people who may not cool off effectively, including people who work outside, homeless people, and older folks.
Also, you must dress appropriately for the weather.
Avoid wearing too heavy of clothing or clothing that doesn’t breathe well.
Thanks for stopping by,
Marla
How hot is it in your part of the world? Have you encountered any people with heat-related illnesses?
Please share your comments below to encourage discussion and dialogue about this critical climate problem. 
 
 

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