Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service issued a Heat Advisory for Western South Carolina — including the Piedmont — and Northeast Georgia.
The advisory said that temperatures were expected to be between 95-100, with a heat index of 105-109 degrees.
Such heat could cause “hazardous conditions for outdoor activities and those without air conditioning,” the advisory warned.
The advisory urges people to limit “strenuous activities to early morning or evening,” if possible.
“Wear light weight and loose-fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water,” the advisory reads.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that, in extreme heat, you should keep a number of things in mind to prevent yourself from becoming sick:
Remember to keep cool and use common sense.
Drink plenty of fluid, replace salts and minerals, wear weather-appropriate clothing and sunscreen, pace yourself, stay cool indoors, schedule outdoor activities carefully, use a buddy system, monitor those at risk, and adjust to the environment.
According to the CDC, extreme heat can cause the body’s temperature control system to become overburdened.
Your body normally cools itself through sweating, but during heat-related illnesses, the body’s temperature rises rapidly, and sweating isn’t enough to cool you off. Very high temperatures can damage the brain and other organs, unless precautions are taken.
The CDC urges residents to know the signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion and take steps to prevent it from occurring. You should also familiarize yourself with the signs of those conditions and know what to do when it happens.
According to the CDC, heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when heat causes the bodies sweating mechanism to fail. As a result, body temperature rises rapidly, and your body is unable to cool itself down.
During an episode of heat stroke, body temperature may rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher in as little as 10 to 15 minutes.
Unless emergency treatment is provided to the victim, heat stroke can result in permanent injury or even death, according to the CDC.
The CDC says that warning signs of heat stroke vary, but may include: an extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees Fahrenheit), red, hot or dry skin with no sweating, a rapid pulse, throbbing headache, nausea, confusion and unconsciousness.
If you are with someone who is exhibiting the signs of heat stroke, the very first thing you should do is call 911 for medical assistance.
While waiting for help to arrive, begin cooling the victim. Move them into a shady area if possible.
Begin cooling the victim rapidly. This can be done through a number of methods, including immersing the victim in a tub of cool water, placing the person in a cool shower, spraying them with a cool water from a garden hose, sponging them with cool water. If humidity is low, wrap the person in a cool, wet sheet and fan the victim vigorously, the CDC says.
Continue monitoring the victim’s body temperature until it drops below 102 degrees F. While doing this, continue to cool down the victim.
If medical help has not arrived yet, call a hospital emergency room for further instructions.
Do not give the victim alcohol to drink. Get them to medical assistance as soon as possible.
The CDC says that heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness. Heat exhaustion usually happens to a person after they have been exposed to several days of high temperatures without adequately replacing the fluid they’ve lost through sweating. The elderly, people with high blood pressure and those working or exercising in a hot environment are most susceptible to heat exhaustion, according the CDC.
Warning signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting and fainting.
The skin of a person suffering from heat exhaustion will be cool and weak, according to the CDC. Their pulse will be fast but weak, and their breathing will be fast but shallow.
If left untreated, heat exhaustion can turn into heat stroke. Seek medical attention if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.
To cool down during a bout of heat exhaustion, the CDC recommends you drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages. Rest. Take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath. Go inside to an air-conditioned room. Wear lightweight clothing.
Heat cramps are muscle spasms or pains, and they’re usually found in the abdomen, arms or legs — that people doing strenuous activities often get. The cramps are caused by a depletion of salt and moisture during activity, and those who sweat profusely during strenuous activity are the most prone to heat cramps. While often not serious, heat cramps can be a sign of heat exhaustion.
You should seek medical attention if a heat cramp doesn’t go away after an hour.
If medical attention isn’t needed, stop all activity and find a cool place to sit. Drink clear juice or a sports drink. Don’t resume strenuous activity for at least a couple hours after heat cramps strike. Further exertion following heat cramps could lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
According to the CD, heat rash is irritated skin caused by excessive sweating in hot, humid weather. Anyone can get a heat rash, although young children develop heat rashes the most often. Heat rash resembles small blisters or pimples. Providing a cool, dry environment is the best way to get rid of a heat rash. Keep the afflicted area dry. Applying baby powder may help you stay comfortable.
Due to increased loss of fluid, you’ll need to drink more fluids in hot weather than you would at other times of the year. During hot weather, be sure to increase the amount of cool fluids you’re drinking, whether or not you’re doing strenuous activity. If you’re doing heavy exercise in a hot room, drinking at 16-32 ounces of cool fluids each hour. Don’t drink alcoholic drinks. They actually cause you to lose more fluid.