By challenging the Mankind, Heat kills beyond its abilities. About 175 Americans succumb to the demands of summer heat in a normal year. Only the cold of winter-not lightning, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, or earthquakes takes a greater toll among the large continental family of natural hazards. In the 40-year period from 1936 through 1975, the effects of heat and solar radiation killed nearly 20,000 people in the United States. Over 1,250 people died in the disastrous heat wave of 1980. These are the direct casualties. No one can know by heat wave weather, how many more deaths are advanced, how many diseased or aging hearts surrender that under better conditions would have continued functioning. North American summers are hot; in one section or another of the United States, most summers see heat waves.
When blood is heated above 98.6 degrees, human bodies dissipate heat by varying the rate and depth of blood circulation, by losing water through the skin and sweat glands, and-as the last extremity is reached-by panting. The heart starts to pump extra blood, blood vessels dilate to accommodate the increased flow, and the bundles of tiny capillaries threading through the upper layers of skin are put into operation. The blood of body is circulated nearer to the surface of skin, and excess heat drains off into the cooler atmosphere.
Water diffuses through the skin as perspiration at the same time. About 90 percent of the body’s heat dissipating function are handle by the skin. To cool the body, sweating does nothing except the water is extracted by evaporation-and high relative humidity retards evaporation. The heat energy needed to evaporate the sweat from the body, thus cooling it, in this way the evaporation process itself works. The body is doing everything it can to maintain 98.6 degrees inside, under conditions of high temperature (above 90 degrees) and high relative humidity. Through dilated circulatory vessels, the heart is pumping a torrent of blood and the sweat glands are pouring liquid-including essential dissolved chemicals, like sodium and chloride-onto the surface of the skin.
Heat Wave Safety Tips
Drink plenty of water or other non-alcohol fluids: Your body requires water to keep cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Before increasing consumption of fluids in the body, people who have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease, are on fluid restrictive diets or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a physician.
Slow down: Strenuous activities should be reduced, removed, or rearranged to the coolest time of the day. Persons, who are at risk should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
Dress for summer: heat and sunlight are reflected by lightweight light-colored clothing, and they helps the body in maintaining normal temperatures.
Put less fuel on your inner fires: Foods (like proteins) that increase metabolic heat production also increase water loss so use them in a less quantity.
Do not drink alcoholic beverages: unless specified by a physician, do not take salt tablets. people on salt restrictive diets should consult a physician before increasing their salt intake.
Spend more time in air-conditioned places: danger from the heat is reduced by air conditioning in homes and other buildings markedly. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, then spend some time each day (during hot weather) in an air conditioned environment affords some protection.
Do not get too much sun: Sunburn makes the job of heat dissipation that much more difficult
Children, Adults and Pets Are at Great Risk
Every year children die from hyperthermia, which is an acute condition that occurs when the body absorbs more heat than it can dissipate. Even on a mild day, hypothermia can occur. The temperature inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to a dangerous level for children, adults and pets, that is shown by studies. Kids' bodies warm at a faster rate than adults so the effects can be more severe on them.
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