As temperatures rise into the nineties, The Salvation Army of Greenville, SC, kicks off its heat prevention campaign. The Salvation Army is seeking donations of water bottles and box fans to help fight the heat for those in need.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the 65+ age group totaled more heat-related hospitalizations than any other segment of the population (from 2001 to 2010). The elderly, as well as young children, are much more susceptible to heat-related illnesses than other age groups, so knowing the types and signs of heat-related illnesses is very important. The EPA also reported common heat-related illnesses as heat exhaustion, heat edemas (hand and foot swelling), heat fainting, heat cramps and heat stroke.
Though they sound very similar, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are distinct illnesses with different treatments, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you suspect heat exhaustion, look for excessive sweating, cold skin, a fast (but weak) pulse, dizziness, fainting, a headache and muscle cramps. If you see these symptoms, move the person to a cooler area, give them small sips of water, loosen any tight clothing and cool them with wet cloths. Though mostly treatable at home, heat exhaustion may require medical assistance if symptoms worsen, last more than an hour and if the person begins to vomit.
If you suspect heat stroke, look for a body temp of 103°F or higher, dizziness, nausea, hot skin, a strong and quick pulse and a headache. If you see these symptoms, call 911, move the person to a cool area, don’t give the person anything to drink and lower the person’s temp with cool, wet cloths until help arrives. Heat stroke is a serious medical emergency and can lead to death.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 37 heat-related, workplace deaths occurred in 2015, and South Carolina had the second highest rate of non-fatal, heat-related illnesses and injuries in the workplace. The CDC promotes a Stay Cool, Stay Hydrated and Stay Informed campaign as part of its prevention materials, and OSHA reminds employers and employees to drink water, stay rested and keep in the shade as much as possible.
The Salvation Army also encourages everyone to stay safe in the heat but also to remember those who are less fortunate. Not everyone has access to water, fans, shelter or A/C. Help us do the most good this summer and consider a donation of box fans or bottled water to our heat prevention campaign!
“This summer, The Salvation Army of Greenville requests donations as part of its heat prevention campaign,” says Major Pete Costas, Area Commander for The Salvation Army. “While the summer heat is dangerous for everyone, it is especially difficult for more vulnerable populations in need, such as the elderly or families with young children. We thank you for helping us meet the most need.”
Box fan and water bottle donations can be dropped off at The Salvation Army at 417 Rutherford Street, Greenville, SC and at 102 Stewart Drive, Easley, SC.