Our View: High temps call for some precautions

Labor Day usually marks the unofficial end of summer, but weather forecasts show the heat of the summer won’t be letting up anytime soon.

With heat indices that hovered in the mid- to upper-90s over the weekend and temperatures expected as high as 88 to 90 degrees this week, area emergency management agencies have declared heat emergencies.

In neighboring Fayette County, the Lexington Emergency Management declared a phase 1 heat emergency for the city Tuesday.

According to media reports, a phase 1 emergency means temperatures are expected to exceed 90 degree for the next three days.

Summer is rearing its ugly and terribly-hot head and that can create some potentially dangerous conditions, especially for those who must be outdoors. Heat emergencies can cause symptoms like cramps, exhaustion and heat stroke. All are serious and can be avoided or prevented.

With that in mind, there are some precautions that can be taken to reduce the risks.

Heat emergencies are more common for older adults and children because of difficulty regulating the internal body temperature.

Be a courteous neighbor and check on those who are disabled or elderly. Ensure they have proper air conditioning and shelter from the sun and heat. Also make sure they have plenty of water.

Keep children indoors during the hottest parts of the day and make sure they stay hydrated. When children are outdoors, check on them frequently.

If you must be outdoors, pay attention for signs symptoms of heat-related illnesses including cramps, dizziness, confusions, fast heart rate or breathing, headache, extreme this, nausea/vomiting, pale skin, rapid shallow breathing, weak pulse or even seizures. Rest as often as possible. Wear light-colored clothing. Drink water frequently and avoid alcohol.

Animals can suffer similar symptons in extreme heat, so bring your pets indoors and offer plenty of water. If you know of an animal that does not have access to water or cannot get relief from the sun and heat, call the Clark County Animal Shelter.

If you know someone who is living without air conditioning or a way to escape the heat, offer them help. If you are able, provide a fan, water, a window air conditioning unit or allow them to stay at your home. If that is not an option, advise them to seek shelter somewhere like the Beacon of Hope or seek assistance through Clark County Community Services.

While extreme heat can be frustrating and uncomfortable for some, it can be fatal to those who do not and cannot take the necessary precautions.

By being a good neighbor we could help prevent these tragic circumstances.