July 2015

Scotch Plains Rescue Squad offers tips for staying healthy when it’s hot

Now that summer is here, and the heat is on, it’s very important to listen to our bodies to prevent heat exhaustion and the even more dangerous heat stroke. Many people think because they are young and healthy that these things can’t happen to them. While it’s true that infants and the elderly, and those with certain medical conditions, are more prone to these conditions, no one is immune.

Some of the symptoms of heat exhaustion include nausea, confusion, and dizziness, along with muscle and abdominal cramps. To prevent these symptoms, it’s important to take frequent breaks, out of the sun if possible, and drink plenty of liquids (avoiding alcohol and caffeine) to stay hydrated. Once these symptoms set in, it’s imperative to take action by getting into an air-conditioned place and/or taking a cool shower.

If not taken care of at this stage, heat stroke can set in. This is a life-threatening condition, and medical intervention is necessary. Symptoms can include loss of consciousness, seizures, red, hot and dry skin, rapid heartbeat and rapid, shallow breathing. If these symptoms occur, call 911 immediately and get the person out of the sun and into an air-conditioned environment if possible. Remove any tight clothing while being mindful of the person’s privacy. While waiting for EMS, try to cool the person down with fans or place ice packs in the person’s armpits, groin, and on the neck and back.

It is much easier to prevent these symptoms than to treat them, so go out and have fun, but do so safely.

The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad is a volunteer organization of Neighbors Helping Neighbors. With more than 90 volunteers, we answer calls not only in Scotch Plains but in surrounding towns as well when needed. Besides answering calls, you will see the ambulances at many special events held in town, such as Scotch Plains Day, the Memorial Day Parade, high school football games, and the summer concerts on the Village Green. We are also available to provide demonstrations for Boys and Girls Scout troops, clubs, and any other group that may be interested in what we do.

In addition, the squad lends out wheelchairs, crutches, canes and other assorted medical equipment free of charge. Reach out to scotchplainsrescuesquad@gmail.com or call 908-322-2103 for non-emergencies.