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Posted on: June 16, 2017

Health Department urges residents to take precautions against heat

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The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department urges residents to take extra precautions against the heat. 

Children, the elderly and people with chronic conditions are usually the first to suffer from heat-related illness. Heat exhaustion, cramps or, in extreme cases, heat stroke can result from prolonged exposure to hot temperatures. 

Director of Clinic Services Kim Ens said it is important to check on neighbors, especially if they are elderly or disabled and live on their own. She also said it is best to avoid being outdoors in the middle of the day when the heat is most intense. “We all need to remember to drink plenty of water when the heat and humidity are high.” 

The Health Department recommends the following to prevent heat-related illness:

  • Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as possible.
  • Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages and increase fluid intake, regardless of activity level.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and sunscreen.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully.
  • Pace yourself.
  • Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
  • Check on a friend or neighbor, especially the elderly. Social isolation is one of the main risk factors for heat-related illness and death.
  • Do not leave children or pets in cars.
  • Listen to your body. Signs of heat exhaustion include: heavy sweating, weakness, cold and clammy skin, fast or weak pulse, nausea or vomiting, and fainting. If you have these symptoms, move to a cooler location, lie down and loosen clothing, apply cool and wet cloths to body and sip water. If you have vomited and it continues, call 911. Signs of heat stroke include a temperature above 103 degrees, rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. Call 911 immediately if you have these symptoms.

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