The third week of June is expected to be quite hot, with temperatures topping out in the high 90s.
Heat indexes are estimated to hover between 100 and 105 degrees.
When it becomes this hot, Arkansas City Fire-EMS Department employees warn against possible heat-related illness.
Firefighter-Paramedic Brandy Rice shared the differences between heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
While nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of each, there are very specific symptoms unique to both.
Heat exhaustion symptoms include:
- faintness or dizziness;
- excessive sweating;
- cool, pale, clammy skin;
- rapid, weak pulse;
- muscle cramps.
If these symptoms are experienced, make sure to move the person suffering them into a cooler, air-conditioned place. Have them drink water and, if possible, take a cool shower or use cold compresses.
Heatstroke’s symptoms include:
- throbbing headache;
- no sweating;
- body temperature higher than 103 degrees;
- red, hot, dry skin;
- rapid, strong pulse;
- possible loss of consciousness.
If these symptoms are present, call 911 and take immediate action to cool the person until help arrives.
“Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water,” said EMS Director Jeri Smith. “Avoid alcohol and carbonated drinks.”
She suggested Gatorade because it helps to replace electrolytes lost with sweat.
“Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing,” she also advised.
“Take regular breaks during work. Schedule work during cooler parts of the day,” said Firefighter-Paramedic Cameron Vickery. “Know your own limits and listen to what your body is telling you.”
Smith also warned against leaving children and pets in vehicles.
“Do not leave children or pets in a car and check on the elderly often,” she said.
With highs such as those expected this week, it is possible for the interior of a vehicle to reach temperatures in excess of 160 degrees in just a few moments.
The Arkansas City Senior Citizens Center has a limited number of fans to give away during this summer.
“(There are) no requirements. They were donated by Westar,” said Senior Center Director Kristin Sparks.
The senior center is located at 320 South A St.