Hot Weather Help

Although we all look forward to summer here in the Pacific Northwest, there are some risks that go along with all of this sun. Heat exposure is a serious matter and can even kill you: It caused 7,233 heat-related deaths in the United States from 1999 to 2009. Most of these were entirely preventable.

The CDC has a great deal of Children Playing In Waterexcellent information on their website, and we're happy to direct you there for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness, posters, fact sheets and other resources. But if you simply need basic tips for staying safe and healthy during hot weather, please read on.

To stay safe and healthy during extremely hot weather:

  • Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as possible. Just a few hours in A/C provides significant health benefits.
    • If your home does not have A/C, consider visiting a public library or indoor shopping mall.
    • Older adults can visit local senior centers.
    • Go to the movies if it's something you enjoy and can afford.
    • At this time, Washington County does not have any official "cooling stations." However, we are working with our community partners to identify additional places where members of the public can go during extremely hot weather.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (water is best) even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and sunscreen.
  • Exercise in the early morning when it tends to be cooler.
  • Avoid strenuous activity in the heat of the day.
  • Take cool showers or baths.
  • Find a local fountain, play in a sprinkler, etc.
  • Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device when it is very hot (over 98 degrees). All you are doing is blowing hot air on yourself. Instead, mist yourself with a spray bottle, and then use the fan to get the cooling benefits of evaporation.
  • Do not use your stove/oven or do laundry on very hot days.
  • Never leave children or pets in cars.
That's just a start. Visit the CDC's website for even more information. Please stay safe this summer and check on your neighbors too!