National Heat Awareness Day
Although May usually isn’t that hot of a month-at least, not as hot as July or August-National Heat Awareness Day falls on the last Friday in the month of May. This holiday was invented by Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Weather Service (NWS) to alert the public that working in the heat can cause serious illness or lead to death if the worker doesn’t take the proper precautions to mitigate its effect. It’s a reminder to everyone working and playing outdoors to drink plenty of fluids, pay attention to the warning signs of heat exhaustion, and spread awareness about how the heat can lead to dangerous medical emergencies.
The History Of National Heat Awareness Day
National Heat Awareness Day was founded by a collaboration between OSHA and the NWS. Although it’s currently unknown when it was first celebrated, it’s been observed for at least the past couple of years. It was designed as a way to let federal workers know of the risks of heat exhaustion and then it was expanded to give general information to the public.
Quick Facts About Heat Exhaustion
To help everyone observe this holiday, and keep themselves safe in the process, we’ve decided to put together some quick facts about it. The following facts should illustrate just how dangerous it can be to work in the heat, especially if proper safety precautions aren’t taken.
Americans Die From Heat Exhaustion Every Year
Every year, as many as 175 Americans die from heat-related complications. That’s almost 30-times more people than are killed by sharks.
Heat Exhaustion Has A Few Warning Signs
Heat exhaustion is a condition that happens when the human body begins to overheat. Some of the warning signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. Another warning sign is when your body suddenly stops sweating.
You Can Protect Yourself Against Heat Exhaustion
In hot enough conditions, there’s nothing that can be done to stop heat exhaustion, but for most cases, this condition is entirely preventable. One thing a person can do is to wear loose clothing. Another thing a person can do is to properly hydrate themselves. A person can also avoid alcohol and caffeine, as those substances tend to dehydrate a person. It’s also a good idea to avoid working during the hottest part of the day whenever possible. And finally, if you get too hot, remove yourself from the heat as soon as possible. It’s also important to keep in mind that children, the elderly, and those who are suffering from some physical conditions are more susceptible to the heat.
Observing National Heat Awareness Day
The first thing a person can do when they want to observe this holiday is to educate themselves about heat exhaustion and the effects it has on the human body. The next thing a person can do is to spread the word about the dangers of heat exhaustion among friends and family members. If you want to spread the word about it online, do so by using the hashtag #NationalHeatAwarenessDay.