Summer heat can be dangerous

Published 6:07 pm Friday, July 23, 2010

This week last year Chilton County was enjoying record low temperatures.

I can actually remember how pleasant the weather was that week. It got down to 57 degrees in Clanton on Monday, July 20. The lows that night shattered an 85-year-old record in Birmingham.

Well, it’s nice to think back on 2009 because the third week of July 2010 is a completely different story.

I’m not saying anything that everybody doesn’t already know, but it’s hot outside. The National Weather Service in Calera has nearly all of the state in a heat advisory through Saturday evening.

Temperatures are expected to top out Saturday near 100 F degrees, with heat indexes topping 110 degrees.

Besides making doing anything outside uncomfortable, weather that warm becomes a dangerous situation.

We’ve had our share of heat waves in Central Alabama; most probably remember August 2007 when temperatures topped out at more than 100 degrees daily for close to two weeks.

While it doesn’t look like we have anything close to that forecast for coming days, it only takes one hot day for those working outside to get into trouble.

The CDC offers the following common-sense tips for people to stay safe in the heat:

Avoid hot foods and heavy meals-they add heat to your body.

Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen.

Drink plenty of fluids and replace salts and minerals in your body. Do not take salt tablets unless under medical supervision.

Dress infants and children in cool, loose clothing and shade their heads and faces with hats or an umbrella.

Limit sun exposure during mid-day hours and in places of potential severe exposure such as beaches.

Do not leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car.

Monitor those at high risk including children, the elderly and those sick.

Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets, and leave the water in a shady area.