This has been a summer of scorching, record-breaking heat waves in the United States and around the world.
Back in June, Germany experienced a searing high of 101.5°F (38.6°C), according to CNN. The high before that was 101.3°F (38°C) way back in 1947.
Weather authorities throughout Europe declared warnings for people to stay inside and out of the blaring sun. France, for instance, saw an all-time high of 114°F (45.5°C).
In fact, globally, it was the hottest June on record.
Domestically, it wasn’t any better. Just last month, everywhere from the Midwest to the South to the Northeast experienced sizzling temperatures.
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a “heat emergency,” ordering large buildings to clamp down on their energy use to avoid straining the city’s electrical grid, while announcing it had opened up cooling centers in city public libraries, community centers, senior centers, and other public buildings.
Even Alaska experienced record-busting temperatures, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
But beyond making for colorful headlines, these announcements underscore a pressing public health problem.
Heatwaves can be dangerous and sometimes deadly, especially for vulnerable populations like infants, small children, and older people.
While much is made about the health threats posed by daytime temperatures, you need to also be aware of the dangers of heatwaves that fail to abate by the evening.
Once dusk falls, some of those most at risk for being affected by the heat might have nowhere to go to stay cool. Others might dismiss the dangers the high temperatures pose to their health.
There are various heat-related illnesses people face during summertime temperatures that are hotter than normal.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines the most common Trusted Source: heatstroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn, and heat rash.
They range in severity. Heatstroke, for instance, is when the body hits a temperature of 103°F (39.4°C) or higher. It leads to nausea, headaches, dizziness, and even losing consciousness.
While something like a sunburn might sound more innocuous, it’s still serious, damaging your skin with itchy, painful blisters.
People who have conditions like heart disease or obesity have a higher risk of contracting a heat-related illness. Increasingly warm temperatures can make something like high blood pressure worse. This increase trips to the emergency room.
The CDC reportsTrusted Source about 618 people in the United States is killed by extreme heat annually.
Many people understand the threat of heat-related health hazards during the day, but they may not realize that equal dangers are still present at night.
After the sun sets during a heatwave, it might feel cooler, but the temperatures outside still may not have cooled down enough for people whose bodies have been exposed to extreme heat all day.
Writer: Sakshi Gupta