Staying Safe in the Heat

BSA Health System cares about your health and safety. BSA EMS is participating in an effort to reduce heat related emergencies in Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Did you know the temperature difference between the canyon floor and rim can be as much as 30 degrees? Due to the remoteness of the park, it is especially important for you to know the symptoms of heat-related emergencies and how to prevent them.

Heat stroke can be fatal if not promptly and properly treated. To prevent heat stroke avoid becoming dehydrated and avoid vigorous physical activities in hot and humid weather. Also, remember persons with health problems are at a greater risk for heat-related emergencies. Below are more tips on how to prevent, recognize signs or symptoms and action items, for heat stroke.

How to prevent heat emergencies:

-       Do not hike alone and take a cell phone.

-       Stay on main trails and take frequent breaks in shady areas.

-       Take one gallon of water per person on hikes.

-       Drink water regularly, not just when you feel thirsty.

-       Avoid activities during the hottest part of the day.

-       Wear a hat and clothes that are light colored, lightweight and loose fitting.

-       Wear sunscreen.

-       If you take medications, be aware some may increase the chance of a heat emergency.

-       Increased age and chronic health conditions can increase the chance of a heat emergency.

Signs and symptoms of heat emergencies:

-       Weakness

-       Fatigue

-       Headache

-       Confusion

-       Muscle cramps

-       Vomiting

-       Agitation

-       Disorientation

-       Hallucinations

-       Difficulty breathing

-       Seizure

-       Coma

What to do if you notice any signs or symptoms:

-       Call 9-1-1 or send someone for help immediately.

-       Have the person slowly drink water.

-       Loosen any restrictive or tight clothing.

-       Fan the person.

-       Apply we clothes to the head, neck, armpits and groin.

For heat emergencies, dial 9-1-1 and give your name, phone number and current location to the operator. For more information about BSA, click here