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Deschutes, Crook counties offer hot-weather health tips

BEND, Ore. - Temperatures in Central Oregon are expected to rise and remain high over the next week. Extremely high or unusually hot temperatures can affect your health. The most vulnerable individuals are those who work or exercise outdoors, adults over 65, infants and children under 4, people without housing, and people with a chronic medical condition.

Take the necessary precautions to prevent serious health effects such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Stay cool

•        During heat alert days, vulnerable individuals should consider maximizing their time in air-conditioned homes or buildings during the hottest time of day or visit public, air-conditioned places such as libraries, community centers, senior centers, restaurants, and retailers for relief from the heat.

•        In homes without air-conditioners, open windows at night when temperatures are cooler. Keep windows and blinds shut during the day.

•        Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device.

•        Limit outdoor activity, especially midday when it is the hottest part of the day, and avoid direct sunlight.

•        Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.

•        Take cool showers or baths to lower your body temperature.

•        Check on at-risk friends, family, and neighbors at least twice a day.
 

Stay hydrated

•        Drink more water than usual, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.

•        Drink two to four cups of water every hour while working or exercising outside.

•        Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar.

•        Make sure your family, friends, and neighbors are drinking enough water.
 

Stay informed

•        Check your local news for extreme heat warnings and safety tips.

•        Visit www.deschutes.org/heat to find local information and tips for preventing heat sickness.

•        Keep your friends, family, and neighbors aware of weather and heat safety information.
 

Additionally, Deschutes County Health Services encourages all residents to learn the signs and first aid response for heat-related illness. Warning signs and symptoms vary but may include:

Heat Exhaustion

Symptoms

•        Heavy sweating

•        Weakness

•        Skin cold, pale, and clammy

•        Weak pulse

•        Fainting and vomiting
 

What You Should Do

•        Move to a cooler location.

•        Lie down and loosen your clothing.

•        Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible.

•        Sip water.

•        If you have vomited and it continues, seek medical attention immediately.

 

Heat Stroke

Symptoms

•        High body temperature above 103°F

•        Hot, red, dry or moist skin

•        Rapid and strong pulse

•        Possible unconsciousness
 

What You Should Do

•        Call 911 immediately — this is a medical emergency.

•        Move the person to a cooler environment.

•        Reduce the person's body temperature with cool cloths or even a bath.

•        Do NOT give fluids.
 

For more information on extreme heat, visit: www.deschutes.org/heat

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Crook County Public Health & Human Services Department wants to increase awareness and remind everyone about heat related events in and around our county.  The weather forecast indicates the temperatures will be in or near the 90’s and above over the next couple of weeks.  According to the National Weather Service, temperatures are expected to reach the mid- to upper 90s Thursday and Friday around Central Oregon, and above 100 in parts of eastern and southern Oregon.

During times of extreme heat we encourage everyone to check in on anyone you know that may be sensitive to the heat, which includes anyone who may be medically compromised, anyone homebound, the elderly, youth of all ages, pets and those who may have chronic medical conditions.  People with a chronic medical condition such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer or kidney disease may be less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature. Also, they may be taking medications that can worsen the impact of extreme heat. People in this category should be closely monitored to make sure they’re drinking enough water, have access to air conditioning and know how to keep cool.

Those who exercise in extreme heat or work outdoors are more likely to become dehydrated and get heat-related illness and should pay particular attention to staying as cool and hydrated as possible.

As it is difficult to predict the weather with exact certainty this is a precautionary notice to increase awareness of the potential dangers of extreme temperatures and heat related emergencies and illness.  

Here are some tips for staying safe and healthy during extreme heat conditions:

1. Stay cool

  • Stay in air-conditioned places when temperatures are high, if possible. 
  • Limit exposure to the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest. Try to schedule activities in the morning and evening. 
  • Open windows to allow fresh air to circulate, especially during morning and evening hours, and close shades on west-facing windows during the afternoon hours. 
  • Use portable electric fans to exhaust hot air from rooms or draw in cooler air. 
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing to keep cool and protect your skin from the sun. 
  • Use cool compresses, misting, and cool showers and baths. 
  • Avoid hot foods and heavy meals; they add heat to the body. 
  • Never leave infants or children in a parked car. Nor should pets be left in parked cars—they can suffer heat-related illness, too. 
  • Dress infants and children in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. 
  • Use sunscreen with at least SPF 15 when going outside. 

2. Stay hydrated

  • Regardless of your level of activity, drink plenty of fluids, even if you are not thirsty and especially when working outside. 
  • Avoid alcohol or liquids containing large amounts of sugar. 

3. Stay informed

  • Keep up-to-date on the temperature and heat index when planning your activities so you can find ways to stay cool and hydrated. The heat index measures how hot it feels outside when factoring in humidity with the actual air temperature. 

Learn how to prevent, recognize, and treat heat-related illnesses. Know the warning signs of heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn and heat rash, and how to treat and prevent them.  Get additional information from the following sources:

If you are being faced with a life threatening emergency please call 911 immediately and help will be dispatched to your location.

You can sign up to receive emergency notifications through the emergency alerting network, which is managed by the Crook County Emergency Manager – you can sign up by visiting the Crook County Sheriff’s website and click on the Alert Crook County logo.

http://sheriff.co.crook.or.us/ 

You can also get up to date information through our tri-county emergency information blog at:

http://coemergencyinfo.blogspot.com/


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