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Red Cross Teaches Oklahoma Seniors How to Beat the Heat

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I wanted them to know more about heat safety

With high temperatures now the norm in Oklahoma, American Red Cross volunteers discussed heat safety with senior citizens at the Reding Senior Center on Thursday, June 11.

“I contacted the Red Cross to come present this class because I noticed some of the seniors had been spending a lot of time outside on very hot days,” said Esther Calhoun, an employee at the Reding Senior Center. “These people being outside in the heat were really starting to concern me and I wanted them to know more about heat safety.” 

Red Cross educator Clarence Warstler was the instructor of the course while Mario Medrano assisted with translating the information for the non-English speaking class members. The team presented tips to the seniors to help them stay cool. For example, staying inside during high temperature days and to consume enough water. They also reminded the seniors to keep an eye on their neighbors and to notify someone if they see anyone that seems to be suffering from heat related illness.

Some common heat related illnesses are heat exhaustion, heat stroke, heat cramps as well as sunburn. If someone is experiencing these things you should quickly get them some water to drink and have them relocate to a cooler place. Also, watch for changes in condition and if the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

For everyone, regardless of age, one priority should be to protect their skin. Limit the amount of direct sunlight received between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15.

Warstler said he hopes that this class prepared the seniors to handle high temperature situations and be more educated about the complications that can arise when too much time is spent in the heat.

The class members also had some questions about disaster preparedness so the educators provided some tips for that as well. Warstler showed the items that everyone should have in a “to go” bag in case of a natural disaster. The seniors all received a pill case they can have their medication in and put in their “to go” bag. Warstler also explained that it is important to have things like a whistle, weather radio, and documents backed up onto a flash drive either in the bag or in a spot that can be easily accessed.

For more information about how to be safe during the hot summer days visit or download the Red Cross First Aid App at to get access to life-saving information on what to do for common, everyday first aid emergencies.