The heat and you, staying safe - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

The heat and you, staying safe

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The Tennessee Valley reached above 90 degrees Tuesday, the humidity is adding to the misery index.

Scorching temperatures across East Tennessee are topping out in the mid 90's with the heat index at 100 degrees, it can feel much like an oven outside. Chattanooga's high was 96, Tuesday.

"Yea we're hoping it cools down soon," said mother Laini Huffine. Huffine had plans for a play-date Tuesday, 5 minutes in the heat and her kids are ready to go.

"They are all kind of hanging out in the shade or on the benches right now because they're already a little hot," said Huffine. "We've been having to keep them cool and had to get the water bottles out already."

Channel 3 tested playground equipment with a thermometer gun to see just how hot the surface temperature can get. The plastic slide read 127 degrees, the swing set out in the sun read 125 degrees. and the ground made of rubber read 150 degrees.

"You need to use extreme caution when on a playground, when they're touching things for the first time because it could lead to a first degree burn, if not a 2nd degree burn," said clinical educator Jason Clark, Erlanger Life Force.

Clark tells Channel 3 Erlanger's Life Force has already flown a few heat related illnesses this week.

"Staying hydrated is the most important, drink plenty of water, stay in the shade if you don't have to go outside, don't go outside," said Clark. There is a cooling shelter at the Salvation Army for the homeless. low income families can also get a free box fan and help with their utility bills through their "Beat the Heat" Campaign.

"These temperatures are life threatening, folks need to get out of the heat go in some place that is cool," said Kimberly George, Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army has already given out 200 fans. If you or someone you know is in need of a fan, please call 423-756-1023. Those in need of a cool drink of water may visit the Salvation Army's hydration station located at 800 McCallie Avenue. Anyone will be able to quench their thirst from 9 AM -5 PM everyday as the temperature exceeds 90 degrees. Officials say they are dangerously low on utility assistance funds. If you would like to help through donations visit www.csarmy.org

Tips for Preventing Heat Related Illness:

- Drink more fluids (non-alcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on a water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot

- Don't drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps

-Stay indoors and if at all possible stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library, even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat

-Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

-NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle

-Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on: infants, young children, people aged 65 or older, people who have a mental illness. those who are physically ill especially with heart disease or high blood pressure


-Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours, if you must be outdoors

SEEK HELP IF:

- You experience heavy sweating partnered with weakness, nausea or vomiting, fainting

- You experience high body temperature (above 103 degrees)

- You experience possible unconsciousness

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