Meteorologists say southwest Kansas is out of the fire and just back into the frying pan.

According to the National Weather Service and other media reports, Dodge City’s time in 100-degree heat is over — for now — but normal high temperatures are still dangerous.

Friday’s high was 88 degrees, with today expected to be 88 as well. By midweek, temperatures will return to the mid to upper 90s and heat indexes near 100 each day.

Officials around the nation suggest the top priority for all should be the safety of children and pets.

"Do not leave a child or pet in a locked car with the windows rolled up," said Dodge City Fire Department Chief Robert Heinz. "We haven’t had any calls this year, so far, but last year we dealt with about 10 calls of kids or pets trapped in a vehicle."

In fact, studies have shown temperatures in a locked vehicle can climb to dangerous levels, even if the outside temperature is in the 50s.

"It takes 2 seconds to check the back seat before leaving the vehicle," Heinz said. "It is way too dangerous for children and pets in a locked car. Especially as how hot it’s been."

The chief mentioned if working outside to drink plenty of water and take breaks often.

"Wear a hat," Heinz added. "And loose, light clothing."

Heinz, along with the American Red Cross and others, suggest checking with elderly neighbors to make sure they are OK.

"Some don’t have air conditioning or they believe they can do without it," Heinz said. "It’s just the right thing to do to make sure they’re OK."

According to the American Red Cross, there are three dangers to excessive heat. The first is heat cramps, usually occurring in the legs or abdomen. Heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat.

Get the person in a cooler place and lightly stretch the affected muscle and gently massage the area. Give the person an electrolyte-containing liquid, such as Gatorade, fruit juice or milk. Water is OK too. Do not give the person salt tablets.

Heat exhaustion is a more severe condition than heat cramps. Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale, ashen or flushed skin; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion.

Move the person to a cooler environment with circulating air. Remove or loosen as much clothing as possible and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fanning or spraying the person with water also can help. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of a cool fluid such as a commercial sports drink or fruit juice to restore fluids and electrolytes. Give about 4 ounces of fluid every 15 minutes.

If the person’s condition does not improve or if the person refuses water, has a change in consciousness or vomits, call 911.

Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition that usually occurs by ignoring the signals of heat exhaustion. Heat stroke develops when the body systems are overwhelmed by heat and begin to stop functioning.

Signs of heat strike include extremely high body temperature; red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing; confusion; vomiting; and seizures.

Call 911 immediately.

 

To contact this writer email rbluhm@dodgeglobe.com.