Heat Emergency: Cooling Off
Tips to stay cool and safe during this period of excessive heat:
Hot weather, with temperatures in the 90s and 100s, are forecast for upcoming days and have prompted local health officials to urge residents to stay cool and safe while they enjoy summertime activities. Heat can lead to serious medical problems, particularly for older adults, young children, people with chronic illness, and people with weight or alcohol problems.
"The danger for heat–related illnesses rises when outside temperatures are very high," said Dr. Gary Oxman, Tri-County Health Officer for Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas Counties. "Fortunately, all of us can prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke with some simple steps."
Protect yourself and your loved ones from heat exhaustion and heat stroke by following these recommendations:
- Spend more time in air conditioned places. If you don't have air conditioning, consider visiting a mall, movie theater, library, community center or other cool public places.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun.
- Dress in lightweight clothing.
- Check up regularly on your elderly neighbors and relatives.
- Drink plenty of water or non-alcoholic beverages.
- Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink.
- Avoid alcohol.
If you go outside
- Limit your direct exposure to the sun.
- Do not leave infants, children, people who can't get out of a car unassisted and pets in a parked car, even with the window rolled down.
- Avoid or reduce strenuous activity.
- Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
- Avoid sunburn. Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.
Check with your physician if you are concerned about heat and the specific medications you are taking. Certain medications may increase sensitivity to the heat. Do not take salt tablets unless directed to by a physician.
If you experience heat-related symptoms or if those symptoms significantly affect your ability to care for yourself, get help right away.