100 degree temperatures can lead to heat emergencies

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. KJCT-- Thursday brought another 100 degree day. Everyone is feeling the heat of these triple digit temperatures. Even some kids had to take a break from playing at Canyon View Park and relax.

"I'm getting really tired," said Alyssa Stewart.

While 100-degree days call for parks, swimming, and outdoor fun, they can also be dangerous. Extreme heat can lead to heat exhaustion or a heat stroke.

"When we see these days that get in those triple digits it's so important to make sure that you're being proactive about it," said Mesa County Health Department spokesperson Katie Goddeyne. “Don't wait until you're thirsty to have that glass of water.”

There are important differences between heat exhaustion and a heat stroke; specifically, heat exhaustion can turn into a heat stroke, which is more severe.

"Heat stroke is going to be a true medical emergency, where somebody has an alteration in their level of consciousness," said firefighter and paramedic Jamie Kavanaugh. “So they have passed out, maybe they've had a seizure, and they just can't be aroused at that point. They're body temperature is going to an extremely high temperature during heat stroke, over 105 degrees, very hot.”

If you need to be outside during these days of extreme heat, officials say to keep hydrated and take breaks in a shaded or air-conditioned area.

It’s important that people don’t underestimate the power of the shade on these hot days.

"Just being in direct sun can raise the perceived temperature 15-20 degrees, as we all know," said Kavanaugh.

If you feel symptoms of heat exhaustion or a heat stroke you must try and cool yourself down. If you see no change after hydrating and are in a shaded or air conditioned area, call 9-1-1 immediately for further assistance.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has provided a guide for the signs of heat-related illness and what you should do if you, or someone you know is showing symptoms:

Heat Exhaustion

  • Heavy sweating

  • Weakness

  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin

  • Fast, weak pulse

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Fainting

What You Should Do

  • Move to a cooler location

  • Lie down and loosen your clothing

  • Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible

  • Sip water

  • If you vomit and it continues, get medical attention

Heat Stroke

  • High body temperature (above 103 °F)

  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin

  • Rapid and strong pulse

  • Possible unconsciousness

What You Should Do
  • Call 911 immediately—this is a medical emergency

  • move the person to a cooler environment

  • Reduce the person’s body temperature with cool cloths or even a bath

  • do NOT give fluids

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