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Deschutes Co. Health offers hot-weather tips

Published On: Jul 01 2013 02:35:15 PM CDT
Medicine generic AP

BEND, Ore. -

Extremely high or unusually hot temperatures can affect your health. Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year and claiming more lives each year than floods, lightning, tornadoes, and hurricanes combined.

The most vulnerable individuals are those who work or exercise outdoors, adults over 65, infants and children under 4, the homeless or poor, and people with a chronic medical condition.

Deschutes County health officials urge you to take the necessary precautions to prevent serious health effects such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Stay cool

  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings.
  • Limit outdoor activity, especially midday when it is the hottest part of the day, and avoid direct sunlight.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Take cool showers or baths to lower your body temperature.
  • Check on at-risk friends, family, and neighbors at least twice a day.

Stay hydrated

  • Drink more than usual, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Drink from two to four cups of water every hour while working or exercising outside.
  • Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar.

Stay informed

  • Check your local news for extreme heat warnings and safety tips.
  • Visit websites listed below to find local information and tips for preventing heat sickness.

Health illness warning signs and symptoms vary but may include:

Heat exhaustion symptoms: Heavy sweating, weakness; skin cold, pale, and clammy, weak pulse, fainting and vomiting. Move to a cooler location, loosen clothing, sip water, and apply wet cloths to your body if possible. Seek medical attention if necessary.

Heat stroke symptoms: High body temperature above 103°F; hot, red, dry or moist skin, rapid and strong pulse, possible unconsciousness. This is a medical emergency-call 9-1-1 immediately. Do not give fluids.

For more information on extreme heat, call (541) 322-7400, or visit the following website:

Oregon Health Authority, “Extreme Heat”

http://public.health.oregon.gov/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForExtremeHeat.aspx

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