Safety is key to keeping cool as temperatures soar

 

DOVER — The temperature went up, up and finally over 90 degrees Thursday.

Delawareans must continue coping with the dangerous heat, since more is expected.

Accuweather.com forecasts a high of 92 degrees today, with an unrelenting sun and high humidity as well.

Relatively speaking, Saturday’s forecasted high of 87 degrees and a thunderstorm in spots seems like a slight break in the oppressive conditions.

On Thursday, authorities announced the arrest of a 34-year-old Lewes woman for allegedly leaving her 2-year-old son alone in an unlocked parked car with the windows shut and engine off on July 8; temperatures peaked at 94 degrees that day, police said.

Nicole J. Eames

Nicole J.
Eames

Bystanders called 911 after seeing the child belted in his car seat at approximately 4:45 p.m. at the Dollar General store at 1549 Savannah Road in Lewes, police said. Arriving EMS evaluated the boy’s condition before transport to Beebe Healthcare.

After treatment for dehydration, the child was released to family member.

Nicole J. Eames was charged with first-degree reckless endangering and driving under the influence of a drug. She was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 2 in Rehoboth Beach and released on $3,000 unsecured bond.

Ms. Eames was ordered to have no unsupervised contact with her son.

Immediately sweating

Thursday’s weather was rough, and Victoria Fitchett found herself “glistening with sweat the instant I step outside.”

On Delaware State University’s campus, Ms. Fitchett described it as “very, very hot, gym sauna hot. I work in a greenhouse and really, truly love my job, but probably not as much today.”

Kendra Jones and Elizabeth Franz were moving briskly into Dick’s Sporting Goods at Dover Mall, with the lure of air conditioning a few steps away.

“I’m slowly melting,” Ms. Jones said. “What am I, the Wicked Witch of the West (from the ‘Wizard of Oz?’)”

The duo attempted to ride with a window down earlier, but “that lasted about three seconds before we put it right back up; the heat just came rushing in,” Ms. Franz said.

While it was clearly steamy outside, Ms. Franz reasoned that it was hotter at the beach. But that was small consolation.

“It feels like it’s 105 degrees today,” she said.

Heading to his car in the Dover Mall parking, Rich Henry seemed unaffected.

“Just going with the flow,” he said. “It’s supposed to be hot, it’s summertime.”

Given the choice between a bone-chilling winter or the current baking hot summer, Mr. Henry preferred the latter.

“I like the beach.”

He also had a simple solution for staying safe in the heat: “Hydrate, stay inside.”

After a quick trip in and out of the One Stop shop on North Little Creek Road, Dajour Massey described himself as “feeling mucky that quickly. I haven’t even done anything.

“It’s way too hot today, definitely too hot to be outside, really. It’s too humid for me to even breathe right now.”

Mr. Massey said he planned to “lay under an air conditioner” upon going inside.

Heatstroke deaths

AAA reported Thursday that nine children in cars nationwide had died from heatstroke since Memorial Day weekend, and cautioned to “look before you lock.”

AAA provided statistics, including:

•To date, 18 children have died from vehicular heatstroke in 2016, most recently on Wednesday in Texas.

•A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s body

•A child can die of heat stroke on a 72-degree day

•On a 95-degree day a car can heat up to over 180-degrees (we cook food at these temperatures)

•At 104-degrees internal organs start to shut down.

Motorist safety tips include:

•Avoid heatstroke by never leaving a child in the car alone, not even for a minute.

•Create reminders by putting something in the backseat you need when exiting the car — for example, a cell phone, purse, wallet, briefcase or shoes. Never leave car keys or car remote where children can get to them.

•Take action and immediately call 911 if you notice a child unattended in a car.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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