According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prolonged heat exposure causes hundreds of deaths every year. Those who survive may suffer greatly. This suffering can be prevented by understanding who is most at risk and how they can best prepare for heat waves.
Who Is Most At Risk During Heat Waves?
While heat waves can cause problems for just about anybody, the following groups should be on extra alert:
- Young children. Kids’ bodies can heat up three times as quickly as their adult counterparts. Kids also tend to be more active and may fail to slow down when heat waves strike.
- Anybody over the age of 65. A decreased sweat response often prevents older adults from sufficiently hydrating themselves. Poor hydration makes it difficult for seniors to adapt to humid conditions.
- Those battling chronic illnesses such as diabetes, lung disease, or heart disease. Medications — especially those that lower blood pressure — may impact hydration.
- Obese or excessively underweight individuals. According to the National Institutes of Health, being excessively over or underweight could increase risk of hyperthermia.
Helping At-Risk Individuals
If you or a loved one is at risk, it’s critical that you take early steps to minimize the potential for heat stroke. Continue to take prescribed medications, but be aware that you’ll need to drink more water than feels necessary. Adopt a schedule for drinking or set alarms on your mobile device.
Air conditioning is a must for at-risk individuals. If your home lacks proper air conditioning, visit a library or community center during the hottest hours of the day. If possible, invest in a high-quality fan or a window AC unit.
If negligence has caused you or a loved one to suffer, contact our Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys today. We can help you obtain compensation for your suffering.