Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Managing risks around extreme heat

We are beginning to look more like the rest of the United States.  Washington State has raging wildfires on the east side of the state, while Seattle has finally achieved weather that sits at the lower end of what the rest of the country has felt.

Here's the message from the King County Department of Public Health that will apply if you live in extremely hot areas of the country.


"The National Weather Service has announced an excessive heat watch for this Thursday and Friday, with temperatures that will rise into the low to mid 90s. When outside temperatures are very high, the danger for heat-related illnesses rises. Older adults, young children, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at particularly high risk. 

 Please share the following tips with your communities so they can stay cool and safe:
Stay cool:
  • Spend more time in air conditioned places. If you don't have air conditioning, consider visiting a mall, movie theater or other cool public places.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun.
  • Dress in lightweight clothing.
  • Check up on your elderly neighbors and relatives and encourage them to take these precautions, too.
Drink liquids:
  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol and large amounts of sugar because they can actually de-hydrate your body.
  • Have a beverage with you as much as possible, and sip or drink frequently. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink.
If you go outside:
  • Limit the time you're in direct sunlight.
  • Do not leave infants, children, people with mobility challenges and pets in a parked car, even with the window rolled down.
  • Avoid or reduce doing activities that are tiring, or take a lot of energy.
  • Do outdoor activities in the cooler morning and evening hours.
  • Avoid sunburn. Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.
More tips in English, Spanish, Chinese Vietnamese, Russian and Korean are available on our Beat the Heat webpage at www.kingcounty.gov/health/beattheheat.aspx

Water safety
Some people turn to local rivers to cool off, but drowning is a real concern. Please use caution and wear a personal flotation device (PFD) on the water. Find deals on affordable lifejackets at http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/injury/water/pfd.aspx  And if you want to swim, choose a safer location – visit a local pool or lifeguarded beach instead."

  

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