Health experts urge caution with hot temperatures

With the thermometer reaching upper 90s and even triple digits during the peak of summer, the Yakima Health District is reminding area residents to take precautions.

High temperatures can cause serious heat-related illness such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, if a person is not careful.

Other issues that can arise include dehydration, heat rash, sunburn and heat cramps.

The body needs to be able to cool down properly, Dr. Teresa Everson said.

“Heat related illness can affect anyone, but the elderly, small infants and children, people with chronic medical conditions and outdoor manual laborers are the most vulnerable,” she said.

There has been a significant rise in the number of people seeking treatment for illness and injury due to heat-related issues, according to the Department of Health.

To reduce risks, health officials are urging people to keep themselves, and pets, in air-conditioned environments when possible, drink plenty of water and other hydrating fluids, avoid alcohol, caffeine and beverages with a lot of sugar, never leave pets or people inside a parked vehicle, and don’t dress babies in heaving clothing or wrap them in warm blankets. Also, try to plan outdoor activities for early or late day, when temperatures are cooler, and wear wide-brimmed hats, sunblock, and light colored, loose clothing while outdoors.

Heat-related illness symptoms include dizziness, nausea, headaches and muscle cramps.

If a person experiences any of the symptoms, officials suggest moving the person to a cooler location for rest and hydration.

If a person experiences confusion or begins to lose consciousness, call 911 immediately.


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