Lowcountry Headlines

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FIRST ALERT: Potentially-dangerous heat possible Friday through weekend

Young man and heat stroke.

Photo: Getty Images

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Hot and humid conditions expected for the weekend could pose problems for people susceptible to heat-related illnesses.

The Live 5 weather team declared Friday, Saturday and Sunday as First Alert Weather Days because of the danger.

The high temperature for Friday and Saturday is forecast to be 96 and then 97 on Sunday. But the heat index, or “feels like” temperature for the three days, could reach between 105 and 110 degrees, Live 5 Chief Meteorologist Bill Walsh said.

Heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States, resulting in hundreds of deaths and fatalities each year, the National Weather Service reports.

Young children and infants are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illness and death because their bodies are less able to adapt to heat. Older adults, particularly those with pre-existing medical diseases or who take certain medications, or who have limited mobility or may live alone can also be susceptible.

It is never safe to leave a child, disabled person or pet locked in a car, even in the winter. If you have a toddler in your household, lock your cars, even in your own driveway. Kids play in cars or wander outside and get into a car and can die in 10 minutes. A reported 33 children died in hot cars in 2022.

Heat cramp

Heat cramps may be the first sign of heat-related illness and may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Symptoms: Painful muscle cramps and spasms usually in legs and abdomen and Heavy sweating.

First Aid: Apply firm pressure on cramping muscles or gently massage to relieve spasm. Give sips of water unless the person complains of nausea, then stop giving water.

Seek immediate medical attention if cramps last longer than 1 hour.

Heat Exhaustion

Symptoms: Heavy sweating, Weakness or tiredness, cool, pale, clammy skin; fast, weak pulse, muscle cramps, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, headache, fainting,

First Aid: Move the person to a cooler environment, preferably a well-air-conditioned room. Loosen clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths or have the person sit in a cool bath. Offer sips of water.

If person vomits more than once, seek immediate medical attention if the person vomits, symptoms worsen or last longer than 1 hour

Heat Stroke

Symptoms: Throbbing headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, body temperature above 103°F, hot, red, dry or damp skin, rapid and strong pulse, fainting, loss of consciousness.

First Aid: Call 911 or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Delay can be fatal. Move the victim to a cooler, preferably air-conditioned, environment. Reduce body temperature with cool cloths or bath. Use fan if heat index temperatures are below the high 90s. A fan can make you hotter at higher temperatures. Do NOT give fluids.

Using a fan to blow air in someone’s direction may actually make them hotter if heat index temperatures are above the 90s.

For more information on all of these heat-related illnesses, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site.

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