Public Health Reminds Residents to Stay Safe in the Heat
With temperatures in the high 90's to over 100 degrees expected this weekend, health officials with the North Central Health District and the local health departments remind residents to stay safe.
Exposure to high temperatures can make you sick and can even kill you. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 8,015 heat exposure deaths in the United States from 1979 to 2003 and many more who required emergency treatment and resuscitation.
When the humidity is high, sweat won't evaporate as quickly, which keeps your body from releasing heat as fast as it may need to. Personal factors, such as age, obesity, poor circulation, and prescription drug and alcohol use affect your reaction to high temperatures.
Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. If a home is not air-conditioned, people can reduce their risk for heat-related illness by spending time in public facilities that are air-conditioned.
You can take these steps to prevent heat-related illnesses, injuries, and deaths during hot weather:
- Stay cool indoors.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Replace salt and minerals.
- Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen.
- Schedule outdoor activities carefully.
- Pace yourself. Do not overwork yourself.
- Use a buddy system. If you must work outdoors, make sure someone knows where you are and can check on you.
- Do not leave children in cars.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke include dizziness, nausea, fatigue, headaches, disorientation, loss of consciousness, and seizures.
For more information, call your local health department.