CAROLINA ALERT

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Emergency Procedures: Extreme Heat

DEFINITIONS

  • Heat cramps - Muscle pains or spasms due to heavy exertion. Although heat cramps are the least severe, they are usually the first signal that the body is having trouble with heat.
  • Heat exhaustion - Occurs when people exercise or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost via heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to vital organs, which can result in a form of mild shock. If left untreated the victim's body temperature will keep rising and he may suffer heat stroke.
  • Heat stroke (sun stroke) - Occurs when the victim's temperature control system, which produces sweat, stops working. The body temperature can rise high enough to cause brain damage or death, if the body is not cooled quickly.

GENERAL TIPS

  • If possible, avoid strenuous outdoor activities
  • Stay indoors and limit exposure to the sun
  • If outside, apply sunscreen uniformly to cover all exposed areas for 15 minutes before exposure
  • Sunscreen should be applied every two hours
  • Drink plenty of water
  • If you are epileptic or have a heart, kidney, or liver disease consult your doctor first
  • Stay on a building's lowest floor, out of the sun if air conditioning is not available
  • Eat well-balanced meals; avoid using excess salt
  • Limit your intake of alcoholic beverages
  • Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much of your body as possible
  • Protect face and head by wearing a hat
  • NEVER leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles or extremely hot environments
  • Consider scheduling outdoor events for cooler times of the day

Call USC Police at 911 immediately if you or a victim is experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Fainting

Tell the dispatcher:

  • Your location
  • Victim's type of injury or illness
  • Victim's status: (conscious, breathing, or bleeding)
  • Victim's age

  • Stay on the line until released by the dispatcher
 
Columbia, SC 29208 803-777-7000 carolinaalert@sc.edu
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