It’s an all too common refrain during the summer months – the uncomfortable high temperatures turn dangerous, even deadly, especially for the elderly and children. In the Washington area, where humidity levels run high, the body’s ability to cool itself is further compromised, leaving area residents vulnerable to anything from heat cramps to heat stroke. SSI understands this danger, and is quick to respond anytime a customer is without a working air conditioner.
Sweating is the body’s way to rid itself of excess heat. In a humid environment, perspiring becomes a less effective way of cooling the body. Taking shelter in the shade or a cool dwelling for at least 10 minutes every hour is critical to bringing body temperatures down, surviving the extreme heat, and avoiding heat related injury or illness.
Heat exhaustion can include fatigue, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, flushed or moist skin, and a temperature as high as 104 degrees. Moving to the shade or a cool room and rehydrating the body is crucial for avoiding heat injury or illness. If the person does not improve quickly, or if they appear confused, combative, or disoriented, they may be in danger of heat stroke so call 9-1-1 without hesitation or delay.
For the elderly, they face the challenge of medications or immobility impeding their ability to cool their bodies. Recognizing this, SSI considers any home without working air conditioning an urgent issue, especially for those with older adults or young children. Checking on your elderly neighbors or friends isn’t just a kind gesture, it may just save a life.