Health officials: Take extra precautions in coming high heat


Last updated 6/23/2021 at 7:17am

GRANT COUNTY, WA – In response to the high temperatures we are experiencing across the Columbia Basin, the Grant County Health District is issuing a heat advisory and urging people to take extra precautions to avoid heat related illnesses. Extreme heat often results in the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards. Heat-related illnesses are preventable. It is important to learn the symptoms and what to do if you or a loved one shows signs of having a heat-related illness. In extreme heat, evaporation is slowed, and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.

Groups at increased health risk from extreme heat include older adults (ages 65+), people with chronic medical conditions, young children, and those who work or exercise in a high heat environment.

It’s important to visit older friends, relatives and neighbors to make sure fans or air conditioners are working and living spaces are ventilated. People who do not have air conditioning are advised to seek relief from the heat by visiting friends or relatives that have air conditioning.

 Health and safety tips to avoid heat-related illness:

• Stay indoors and in an air-conditioned environment as much as possible.

• Drink plenty of fluids- avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine or a lot of sugar.

• Eat more frequently but make sure meals are balanced and light.

• Never leave any person or pet in a parked vehicle.

• Avoid dressing babies in heavy clothing or wrapping them in warm blankets.

• Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun. Awnings or louvers can reduce the heat entering a house by as much as 80 percent.

• Make sure pets have plenty of water.

 The early warning signs of heat stress can include decreased energy, slight loss of appetite, light-headedness, and nausea. People experiencing these symptoms should go to a cool environment, drink fluids, remove excess clothing, and rest.

Serious signs of heat stress can include unconsciousness, rapid heartbeat, throbbing headache, dry skin, chest pain, mental confusion, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, staggering, and/or difficulty breathing. People experiencing these symptoms should get immediate medical attention. While waiting for help move the person to a cool area, remove excess clothing, spray with water, and fan the person. In an emergency, dial 911.


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