Code Orange issued for parts of the Mid-South

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Health Department issued a Code Orange for Shelby, Crittenden and Desoto counties for Tuesday.

A Code Orange means ozone values will be unhealthy for sensitive groups such as active children and adults, and people with respiratory issues.

The National Weather Service is expecting the heat index values to approach 105 degrees starting Wednesday and into the rest of the weekend.

“Excessive heat is not just uncomfortable, but can lead to  heat-related illness and even death. Both are preventable if you take precautions,” said Dale Lane, director of the Shelby County Office of Preparedness .

The Shelby County Office of Preparedness offered the following tips:

  • Never leave children or pets in the car. If you see a child or pet alone, call 911.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • If you plan on exercising outside, go early in the morning or in the evening hours.
  • Check on neighbors or those who work outdoors who are without air conditioning.
  • If you experience heat cramps, move to a cool place and drink cool water. Lightly stretching the muscles may help relieve symptoms.

Heat Exhaustion vs. Heat Stroke:

The symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, cool or flushed skin, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, confusion, fast but weak pulse, and exhaustion.

Anyone who experiences these symptoms should immediately move to a cool place and start sipping water.If there is no improvement and the person begins vomiting or refuses water, call 911.

A heat stroke is life threatening as the body cannot cool itself down due to dehydration.

A person experiencing a heat stroke will have an increased body temperature, decreased sweating, hot red skin, change or loss of consciousness, a rapid, strong pulse, shallow breathing and confusion.

They may also experience seizures, vomiting, headache or nausea.

If a person is having a heat stroke, do not give them liquids.

Instead move them to a cool place, apply wet towels and then call 911.

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