Heat warnings should be taken seriously

Published 8:37 pm Thursday, August 4, 2011

Every day we turn on the television it’s more of the same. Heat advisories and warnings constantly come across the screen during weather reports.

These warnings should be taken seriously. Those who work outdoors must take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water to  keep the effects of the triple-digit temperatures from becoming detrimental to their health.

The temperatures are not just dangerous, they are deadly.

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Many deaths occur from other causes as a result of high temperatures. Nearly half of all victims are 65 years and older.

Prolonged heat exposure takes a toll on the body, compromising the ability to cool itself. Older adults are most susceptible to this due to the aging process-an older body is less efficient in reacting to the heat.

Many seniors choose not to run their air conditioning units because of budget constraints. They choose to use fans instead.

However, reports show that fans are not protective against heat-related illness when conditions reach 90 degrees and 35 percent humidity.

The energy crisis has created an even more dangerous situation for seniors and others who are living on a tight budget. Budget constraints can have a direct impact on the safety of those who refuse to use their air conditioning units.

For this reason, it’s up to friends and neighbors to check in seniors and shut-ins. Take a few minutes out of your day to check on elderly people in your neighborhood.

The heat shows no sign of leaving any time soon. It’s important that we plan ahead and look out for each other to prevent tragedies.