SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Heat stroke can occur in less than half an hour and Siouxlanders who work in these conditions say staying safe is no easy task.
Mario Suarez wakes up at 4 a.m. each day to beat the heat. He said he and his fellow construction workers focus on simple ways to stay safe throughout the day.
“We sweat a lot and the sun, sometimes there is no shade anywhere close to where we’re at,” he said. “We just have to look for shade, take little breaks, make sure everybody is drinking water.”
Officer Valerie Rose with the Sioux City Police Department said the inside of a vehicle is particularly dangerous in the summer.
“Make sure that you always lock your vehicle whether you have children or not because there’s two ways that children can get left in vehicles,” Rose said. “Either they’re being left by a parent or a caregiver or they find their way into a vehicle themselves that’s left unlocked, and they think it’s just a fun way to play.”
Lea Mathison is a trauma and stroke program manager with MercyOne Siouxland. She said heat exhaustion occurs before heat stroke and recognizing the symptoms can be life-saving.
“Typically, you’ll start to get the warning signs,” Mathison said. “You’ll start to sweat more. Your body starts to compensate until it can’t compensate anymore and that’s when the heat stroke develops and that’s a medical emergency that can result in death.”
Mathison said the effects of heat stroke are curable if they are treated quickly.