As deadly record-temperatures bake the east coast and thermometers in the Silver State hover near and into triple digits, Washoe County Health District officials remind residents and visitors that heat-related illnesses can be deadly, and to take precautions to avoid them.
Here are some simple steps people can take to keep risk low.
Drink Plenty of Fluids – Even If You Don't Feel Thirsty
Increase your fluid intake regardless of your activity level.
During heavy exercise in hot weather, drink 2-4 glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour.
Stay Cool Indoors
The most efficient way to beat the heat is to stay in an air conditioned area.
If you do not have an air conditioner or evaporative cooling unit, consider a visit to a shopping mall or public library for a few hours.
Stay Cool Outdoors
Plan activities so that you are outdoors either before noon or in the evening.
In the hot sun, a wide-brimmed hat will keep the head cool.
While outdoors, rest frequently in a shady area.
Monitor Those at High Risk
If you are 65 years of age or older, have a friend or relative call to check on you twice a day during a heat wave. If you know anyone in this age group, check on them at least twice a day.
When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your coworkers and have someone do the same for you.
If you are unaccustomed to working or exercising in hot weather, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually.
If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, stop all activity, get into a cool or shady area, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or feel faint.
Use Common Sense
Do not leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car.
Bring your pets indoors with you to protect them.
Give your outdoor animals plenty of fresh water, leave the water in a shady area, and consider wetting the animal down.
Those at highest risk of heat-related illness are the very young, the elderly, and those who must work outdoors in extremely high temperatures. Sudden rise in body temperature and dehydration can lead to heat stroke or heat exhaustion. If not addressed quickly, brain damage or death can result. "Our current high temperatures can have serious health consequences if people are not careful," said Washoe County District Health Officer Dr. Joseph Iser. "A little common sense will help you avoid heat-related illness. Not only are heat stroke and heat exhaustion a concern, but these heat waves also present problems related to ozone level increases which jeopardize persons with respiratory concerns like asthma, emphysema, and other COPD-like problems."
Iser stresses, "You should never leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car, as temperatures can soar in a matter of minutes and cause severe brain injury or even death; drink plenty of fluids that don't contain caffeine or alcohol (these cause dehydration); stay indoors preferably in an air-conditioned environment such as libraries or shopping malls; and, limit strenuous activities between noon to 6 p.m., when temperatures and ozone levels tend to be highest."
Saturday, May 25 2013 2:16 AM EDT2013-05-25 06:16:04 GMT
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