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Six Red Cross Tips to Stay Safe When Temperatures Soar

Thermometer showing heatwave temperature
The combination of heat and humidity can create more than just a nuisance —it can lead to a life-threatening situation.

Dangerously hot weather is predicted across South Carolina this weekend and the American Red Cross wants to remind people that there are steps they should take to stay safe when the temperatures rise.

“The combination of heat and humidity can create more than just a nuisance —it can lead to a life-threatening situation,” said Louise Welch Williams, regional chief executive officer for the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross. “There are several precautionary steps people can take to prevent heat-related emergencies, like sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.”

The Red Cross has six simple steps to help beat the heat:

• Never leave children or pets alone in vehicles. The temperature inside can reach a dangerous level within a few minutes.

• Slow down, take frequent breaks and use the buddy system.

• Stay hydrated – drink more water than usual.

• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing

• Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone, or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.

• If possible, bring animals inside. If not, frequently check to ensure they are comfortable and have water and a shady place to rest.

The Red Cross also encourages people to know the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses:

• Cool, moist, pale, ashen or flushed skin

• Headache, dizziness, or nausea

• Red skin that can either be dry or moist

• Changes in consciousness

• Rapid, weak pulse

• Rapid, shallow breathing

Someone experiencing these symptoms should be moved to a cooler place and given cool water to drink gradually. If the person refuses water, vomits, or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1.

LEARN MORE The American Red Cross First Aid App puts that information at your fingertips, helping you prepare and respond to heat emergencies and other events. The free First Aid App gives you instant access to the information you need to know to handle the most common first aid emergencies. The Red Cross Pet First Aid App has steps pet owners should take to help keep their furry friends safe during hot weather. People can find the apps in their app store by searching for American Red Cross or by visiting redcross.org/apps.

People can learn how to prevent and respond to heat-related illnesses and other emergencies by taking a Red Cross First Aid, CPR and AED course or Advanced Child Care Training course. A variety of online and in-class options are available to learn life-saving skills. Course and registration information is available at redcross.org/takeaclass.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org/sc or visit us on Twitter at@RedCrossSC