Gov. John Bel Edwards is reminding all Louisianans to take extra precautions to stay safe in the soaring temperatures this summer, and to make certain that no children are left unattended in hot vehicles. According to national statistics, an average of 37 children die each year from being left unattended in vehicles. Between 1998 and 2018, 744 children died, and in Louisiana, there were 27 pediatric vehicular heatstroke deaths during this time.
“If you think its hot outside, the inside of your car is even hotter,” said Gov. Edwards. “In this Louisiana heat, within minutes, the temperature inside your parked car can quickly climb to more than 110 degrees. There are far too many examples of moms, dads or other relatives accidently leaving a child behind, only to return and discover a tragedy. Remember to check your vehicle before you lock the doors and take the necessary measures to prevent heat-related illnesses. ”
In only 10 minutes, a vehicle can heat up 20 degrees and top 110 degrees Fahrenheit on days when it is only 60 degrees outside. Heat stroke begins when the body reaches 104 degrees.
Some steps to protect yourself in the heat:
- Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. It is also a good idea to wear hats or use an umbrella.
- Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Eat small meals and eat more often.
- Slow down and avoid strenuous activity.
- Stay indoors when possible.
- Take regular breaks when engaged in physical activity on warm days.
- Learn the signs of heat-related illness, and what you should do.
Signs of heat exhaustion include:
- heavy sweating
- weakness or fainting
- cold, pale and clammy skin
- fast, weak pulse
- nausea or vomiting
If you suspect you have heat exhaustion, move to a cooler location, lie down and loosen your clothing, sip water, and apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible. Seek medical attention immediately, if needed.
Signs of heat stroke include:
- high body temperature (above 103 degrees Fahrenheit)
- hot, red, dry or moist skin
- rapid and strong pulse
- possible unconsciousness.
If you suspect you or someone else has heat stroke, call 911 immediately. This is a medical emergency. Move the person to a cooler environment and use cool cloths or a bath to reduce the person's body temperature. Do not give fluids.