Summer sizzle increases risks of heat related illness

Here’s the press release from the Buncombe County Department of Health:

Though we have been experiencing mild weather, warmer weather is on the way. It is now officially Summer and along with summer comes hotter temperatures and risks of heat related illness. Extremely hot weather can cause serious health effects, leading to very high body temperatures that result in heat exhaustion, heat stroke and possibly death. Your best defense against heat-related illness is prevention. Taking simple precautions can help everyone remain safe and healthy and prevent a heat related illness: stay cool, hydrated, informed, and protect people in your care, such as children and the elderly.

Everyone needs to stay alert to keeping cool, but those who are at highest risk are people who work or exercise outdoors, infants and children, the elderly, the homeless, and those who have chronic medical conditions that decrease their tolerance for heat.

Stay cool

Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible and avoid direct sunlight.
Never leave infants or children in a parked car.
Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device during an extreme heat event.
Don’t use the stove or oven to cook — it will make you and your house hotter.
Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
Pets should not be left in parked cars– they can suffer heat sickness too.

Stay Hydrated and Informed

Drink plenty of water and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
Check the local news regularly for heat alerts and health and safety tips.
Check local weather forecasts so you can plan activities safely when it’s hot outside.
Check on a friend or neighbor to make sure they stay healthy and safe, as well.

Watch for the signs

The warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke vary. If you start to experience symptoms, stop all activity, move to a cool environment, drink water, and seek medical attention without delay.


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