Sun and a thermometer

Heatwave Safety

Featured, In The News
July 14, 2022

At the YMCA, the health and well-being of our community is our top priority. As we anticipate temperatures over 100 degrees, we are taking all the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our members, guests, and staff.

Heat Safety Policy

For the safety of our staff, volunteers, members, and program participants, the Treasure Valley Family YMCA will cancel outdoor activities if the temperature and heat index reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

If your group exercise class, day camp, or youth sports program is canceled due to weather conditions, you will be notified by the program director or coach via email.

Heatwave Safety Tips

Extreme hot weather causes more fatalities than any other weather-related source. Heatwaves rarely are given adequate attention, but in fact, they claim more lives each year than floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes combined. Heat waves are a silent killer.Health and safety problems caused by excessive heat are called heat stress. These range from heat cramps to heat exhaustion to the most serious state, heat stroke.

HEAT CRAMPS are a warning sign the body has lost too much salt through sweating. The cramps affect working muscles, such as legs, arms, and abdomen. Heat cramps may also occur when a person is resting. 

HEAT EXHAUSTION is a warning that the body’s heat control mechanism has become overworked. Symptoms are exhaustion, dizziness and/or nausea, pale and clammy skin, rapid pulse, and low blood pressure. Heat exhaustion may lead to heat stroke if symptoms are ignored. 

HEAT STROKE can be fatal. This happens when the heat loss mechanism of the body just shuts down. The person stops sweating and the body temperature goes up. The heart pounds, and the skin is hot and red. A person suffering from heat stroke needs immediate emergency medical attention. 

The best way to treat sickness is to prevent it:

  • Drink water early and often. The body loses water through perspiration, and you need to replace it frequently. 
  • Experts recommend that you avoid using alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea, or other beverages with caffeine as a fluid replacement. These types of drinks cause you to lose even more water and salt. The best defense is to drink plain water early and often.
  • When possible, take approved/frequent rest breaks.
  • Immediately move to a cooler area if you feel dizzy or become nauseated. 
  • Dress in light colors. Choose fabrics that let moisture and heat escape. Dress in layers so you can peel off outerwear as needed as the day progresses.

Watch for signs of heat stress in yourself, your fellow staff members, members, and participants. Most of the time, a person may not realize what is happening to them until heat sickness strikes. If signs of heat sickness do occur, help the victim to cool off by removing him or her to a cool place, fanning him/her, or soaking him/her with a cloth that has been dipped in cool water. Give the victim sips of water to drink ONLY if he/she is conscious. REMEMBER!! IF YOU SUSPECT HEAT STROKE DUE TO BRIGHT RED, HOT SKIN, AND NO SWEAT, CALL FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL HELP.

Treasure Valley Family YMCA Risk & Safety