Heat is one of the leading weather-related emergencies in the United States. Often it results in hundreds of deaths each year. Heat can be very taxing on the body and can occur even on short notice and even during a short period of exposure outside and inside. Everyone can be vulnerable to heat, however some take or tolerate it better than others. According to the Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in United States, the following groups are particularly vulnerable to heat, and always best to check in with friends and relatives who fall into one of those population areas, especially if they don't have air conditioning:
It is NEVER safe to leave a child, disabled person or pet locked in a car, even in the winter. If you have a toddler in your household, lock your cars, even in your own driveway. Kids enjoy playing in cars or wander outside and can get into a car and can die in as little as 10 minutes! It is reported 24 children died in hot cars in 2020 and 1 toddler already has died in April 2021. Death routinely are was reported as early as April and tragedies continued into December in southern states.
NWS Safety information on Children, Pets and Vehicles: Find out more about how cars can heat up quickly when left in the sun. Information and resources in both English and Spanish from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
National Weather Service website is a great area to find additional information and designed to prepare you for excessive heat events, describe what to do during a an excessive heat wave, and inform you about the health dangers of heat. You also will find educational materials and fun games and activities to help educate children about the dangers of heat. Spanish language outreach materials are also available.
If you, or someone you know, have been a victim of excessive heat, please share your story as others have here so we can prevent others from becoming a heat victim. When you write, please note that NWS has permission to use your story and, if possible, let us know the town and state you were in and the year the event took place.
Enjoy the warm weather and don't forget to take a cool break!
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