(City of El Paso) The Department of Public Health and the El Paso Fire Department are urging the community to take extra precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses and tragedies this summer.
Health officials caution residents to be mindful of extreme heat not only as it affects themselves, but our most vulnerable loved ones and our pets.
Vulnerable populations such as infants and young children, those over 60 years of age and persons with underlying medical conditions are particularly susceptible to health-related illness. Symptoms include:
- heavy sweating, cold, pale and clammy skin
- a fast or weak pulse
- nausea or vomiting
- muscle cramps
- tiredness or weakness
- dizziness, headaches and fainting
Heat stroke can include an elevated body temperature, confusion and loss of consciousness. Anyone with heat stroke symptoms should call 9-1-1 and move the patient to a cooler place immediately.
NEVER leave a child in a vehicle unattended — even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running, and the air conditioning is on.
Preventing heat-related illness is key and all residents should take these precautions:
- drink plenty of non-sugared and non-alcoholic fluids (consult a healthcare provider if you need to restrict fluid intake)
- protect yourself with a wide-brimmed, loose-fitting hat that allows for ventilation
- stay in air-conditioned places when possible
- reduce exercise during periods of high temperatures
- use sunscreen
- wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing
The “Buddy System” should also be used to ensure neighbors, loved ones and co-workers who may be elderly or at greater risk are practicing the above recommendations. Having a partner to assist with all activities performed outside or in hot areas can ensure that, should a heat stress injury or illness occur, proper care can be administered quickly.
The Extreme Weather Task Force is accepting fan donations at any El Paso or Horizon Fire Stations. Those who need a fan can dial 2-1-1 to check for eligibility criteria and receive details on how to receive a free fan.
Health officials also urge residents to keep their pets safe, especially outdoor pets, using the following tips:
- make sure your pet is tested for heartworm
- provide proper shade
- give them plenty of fresh, clean water in a shaded area
- never leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle
- do not walk your dog in extreme heat as their sensitive paw pads can burn
For more information, visit: CDC Extreme Heat Information.
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