With temperatures predicted to reach into the high 90’s and possibly 100 this weekend, it is essential to be pro-active in preventing heat related illnesses.  Prevention is the key! It is far easier to prevent heat related illnesses than it is to reverse them once they have begun. Staying cool and making simple changes in your fluid intake, activities and clothing during hot weather can help you remain safe and health.

The Washington State Department of Health has the following suggestions for staying cool in hot weather, as well as links to further information:

  • Stay indoors and in an air-conditioned environment as much as possible.
  • Drink plenty of fluids but avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine or a lot of sugar.
  • Never leave any person or pet in a parked vehicle.
  • Wear loose-fitting, light colored clothing, sun block, and a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Plan strenuous outdoor activities for early or late in the day when temperatures are cooler.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes. A cool shower immediately after coming in from the hot temperatures can result in hypothermia, particularly for elderly or very young people.
  • At first signs of heat illness (dizziness, nausea, headaches, muscle cramps), move to a cooler location, rest for a few minutes and slowly drink a cool beverage. Seek medical attention immediately if you do not feel better.

For more information about protecting yourself during extreme temperatures, check out the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Extreme Heat: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety: http://www.cdc.gov/extremeheat/warning.html.