VOA-How to protect yourself against the dangers of extreme heat

VOA-How to protect yourself against the dangers of extreme heat

VOA-How to protect yourself against the dangers of extreme heat

 

Transcript of radio broadcast

VOICE ONE

This is SCIENCE IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English. I’m Steve Ember

VOICE TWO

And I’m Barbara Klein. This week, we tell about health problems linked to extreme heat. We also tell about what to do to prevent and treat these problems

MUSIC

VOICE ONE

Extremely hot weather is common in many parts of the world. Although hot weather just makes most people feel hot, it can cause serious medical problems — even death

Floods, storms and other natural events kill thousands of people every year. So does extreme heat. Experts say heat may be nature’s deadliest killer

For example, extreme heat was blamed for killing more than one hundred people in India and Pakistan in two thousand seven. Daytime temperatures rose to more than forty-five degrees Celsius in some areas. On June eleventh, the temperature in one desert town hit fifty-one degrees

VOICE TWO

Experts say the total heat of a hot day or several days can affect health. Several hot days are considered a heat wave. Experts say heat waves often become dangerous when the nighttime temperature does not drop much from the highest daytime temperature. This causes great stress on the human body

Doctors say people can do many things to protect themselves from the dangers of extreme heat. Stay out of the sun, if possible. Drink lots of cool water. Wear light colored clothing made of natural materials. Make sure the clothing is loose, permitting freedom of movement. And learn the danger signs of the medical problems that are linked to heat

VOICE ONE

The most common health problem linked to hot weather is heat stress. Usually, it is also the least severe. The causes of heat stress include wearing heavy clothing, physical work or exercise, hot weather or high humidity. Humidity is the amount of water in the air

If several of these conditions are present at the same time, a person’s body temperature may rise above safe limits. The person loses large amounts of body water and salt in perspiration. Perspiration is one of the body’s defenses against heat. It is how the body releases water to cool the skin

Most people suffer only muscle pain as a result of heat stress. The pain is a warning that the body is becoming too hot. Doctors say those suffering muscle pain should stop all activity and rest in a cool place. They should also drink cool liquids. Do not return to physical activity for a few hours because more serious conditions could develop

VOICE TWO

Doctors say some people face an increased danger from heat stress. Such persons have a weak or damaged heart, high blood pressure, or other problems of the blood system. Severe heat increases problems for small children, older adults and those who have the disease diabetes

It is also dangerous for people who weigh too much and have too much body fat, and for people who drink alcohol. Hot weather also increases dangers for people who must take medicine for high blood pressure, poor blood flow, nervousness or depression

 
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