Take the Heat Off Your Volunteers & Staff
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Did you know on average about 62.6 million people volunteer each year? Well, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s true! And while many of those volunteers lend a hand for indoor events, they also do the same for outdoor events too. So, how can not for profit organizations protect their volunteers and staff working events in the summer heat?
Extreme summer temperatures are not only uncomfortable; they are also dangerous for volunteers’ health. This is particularly true for older adults and children who are more susceptible to illness. Here are some tips to recognize heat-related illnesses and ways to prevent them.
Knowing the symptoms is the most preventative step of all. If you can identify a volunteer or staff member is experiencing these before it gets worse, you can take action and help treat it! Heat exhaustion occurs when the body is not able to sweat enough to cool itself. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
- Dizziness, weakness, nausea, headache and vomiting
- Blurry vision
- Body temperature of 101° F – keep a thermometer handy!
- Sweaty skin
- Feeling hot and thirsty
- Having difficulty speaking
When someone is suffering from heat exhaustion, he/she should move into a cooler place and drink plenty of water immediately.
Heat stroke is the result of untreated heat exhaustion and includes the following symptoms:
- Unawareness of heat and thirst
- Body temperature rises rapidly above 101° F
- Confusion or delirium
- Loss of consciousness
When someone is suffering from heat stroke, medical personnel should be called immediately, as the condition is life-threatening. It’s crucial to place ice packs on the person’s armpits and groin until help arrives.
To avoid heat illnesses at your outdoor events, provide lots of water for your volunteers and staff and remind them to drink it often. Additionally, advise them to wear light-colored, lightweight clothing made of natural fibers and put on a well-ventilated hat.
To learn more about safety and how your not for profit organization can minimize risk, contact us!
- Outdoor Tips for Volunteers
- Don’t Let the Sun Beat Down Upon Your Face
- Preventing and Treating Sports Injuries in Children
- Safety E-Book
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