Heat precautions kick in as temps and humidity rise - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Heat precautions kick in as temps and humidity rise

FOX 8 photo FOX 8 photo

Without the rain, being outdoors can be challenging and downright dangerous in Southeast Louisiana because of the increasing heat and humidity.

It is also important to be "heat" aware.

Cara DuBois of LaRose in Lafourche Parish is booked with child desertion. Houma Police said she admitted to leaving her toddler inside a locked running car while she stopped at a grocery store to pay a bill and buy cigarettes.

It was later learned that the car automatically stops running after 10 minutes. The child was okay and was turned over to the father.

Emergency medical personnel are warning people that this time of year, being locked in a vehicle with no air conditioning can be life threatening.

"The temperature inside a vehicle can rise up to 20-degrees Fahrenheit just in ten minutes," said Lt. Liz Belcher, Public Information Officer and Community Outreach Coordinator for the New Orleans Emergency Medical Services Department.

As part of a test, a thermometer placed in a closed vehicle registered well over 120 degrees within 30 minutes. It should be noted the thermometer was not equipped to gauge temperatures over that level.

"Interior temperatures, dashboards and steering wheels can reach up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit," stated Belcher.

And heat inside a car and outside of vehicles can be hard on children and others.

"Children's body temperatures actually rise about three to five times faster than adult body temperatures do," Belcher further stated.

Dr. Jeffrey Elder, M.D., is Director of the city's EMS Department.

"Children and the elderly really can't compensate for heat stress like most adults can," said Dr. Elder.

He said his department is geared up to respond to even more health emergencies.

"Heat exhaustion is the beginning. It's when you feel bad, you may be sweating, you have cramps, you may be nauseated, and you just don't feel right when you're in the heat. Heat stroke is the other part of the spectrum where we start to see altered mental status, so typically at that point the body has lost its ability to regulate for heat stress," said Dr. Elder.

From June 1 through June 21, New Orleans EMS said it responded to 33 heat related calls.

"It's only going to get worse this summer," said Belcher.

"Whether you're exercising, or working in the heat, you really have to hydrate before your activity, remain hydrated during your activity, and then continue to drink fluids after the activity," said Dr. Elder.

Medical experts said besides staying hydrated while outdoors, wear light colored and loose fitting clothing.

And if you spot a child in a locked vehicle call police.

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