Heat Carries Human Threat

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As temperatures steadily push the 100-degree mark in the Rim Country, it's a warning to residents that danger isn't just a matter of fire.

The rising red of the thermometer heralds the added danger of heat exhaustion.

The human body cools itself by sweating. Extreme heat can cause the system to become overloaded.

When that happens, the body's temperature rises from the norm of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

"Cool, clammy skin, profuse sweating, nausea, vomiting and a weak pulse are warning signs of heat exhaustion," said Payson Fire Marshal Mike Winters.

"When you feel bad, it is time to get indoors where it is cool.

"Make sure you hydrate by drinking plenty of water, not soda or coffee, because that's what the body needs in the heat."

A body temperature of 103 or more can lead to heat stroke in 10 to 15 minutes.

Heat stroke can damage organs, including the brain.

It can also be fatal.

Other warning signs of heat stroke include red, hot dry skin, a rapid, strong pulse, throbbing headache, a dizzy, nauseated feeling, confusion or unconsciousness.

The Payson Fire Department offers this advice for hot weather like that expected over the weekend:

  • Dress appropriately (light-colored, loose clothing).
  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in a vehicle, even for a brief moment. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach 140 degrees within minutes.
  • Check on the elderly and those who live alone.
  • Keep pets shaded and provide plenty of fresh water.
  • Perform strenuous work in the cooler part of the day, especially early morning.
  • Call 911 immediately in the event of a heat-related emergency.

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