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Jul-18-2006 10:42TweetFollow @OregonNews
Extreme Heat to Hit Oregon This WeekendKevin Hays Salem-News.com
Health officials say now is the time to prepare for the extreme heat this weekend. The National Weather Service says temperatures in the mid-valley are expected to be near, or over 103 degrees both days.
(SALEM) - It’s going to be Hot, Hot, Hot, beginning Friday in Oregon. The mercury is expected to top 100 degrees Friday, Saturday and Sunday temperatures are expected to climb well over 103 degrees.
Not even beachgoers will get a break from the heat. Temperatures along the Oregon Coast are expected to be above 90 degrees this weekend.
Salem-area grocery and home improvement stores say they are well stocked on ice, ice cream, water, air conditioners, fans, and all of the necessities one needs to keep their family and pets cool, and healthy during the heat wave.
What Is Extreme Heat?
Temperatures that hover 10 degrees or more above the average high temperature for the region and last for several weeks are defined as extreme heat. Humid or muggy conditions, which add to the discomfort of high temperatures, occur when a "dome" of high atmospheric pressure traps hazy, damp air near the ground.
Excessively dry and hot conditions can provoke dust storms and low visibility. Droughts occur when a long period passes without substantial rainfall. A heat wave combined with a drought is a very dangerous
The following tips are important:
Drink Plenty of Fluids:
During hot weather you will need to increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink. During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour.
Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
Don't drink liquids that contain alcohol, or large amounts of sugar—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
Replace Salt and Minerals:
Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. These are necessary for your body and must be replaced. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. However, if you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets.
Wear Appropriate Clothing and Sunscreen:
Wear as little clothing as possible when you are at home. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Sunburn affects your body's ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin.
If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) along with sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say "broad spectrum" or "UVA/UVB protection" on their labels) 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.
Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully:
If you must be outdoors, try to limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Try to rest often in shady areas so that your body's thermostat will have a chance to recover.
If you are not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or at least into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.
Stay Cool Indoors:
Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library—even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area. Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. Use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home.
Use a Buddy System:
When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness.
If you are 65 years of age or older, have a friend or relative call to check on you twice a day during a heat wave. If you know someone in this age group, check on them at least twice a day.
Monitor Those at High Risk:
Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others.
Infants and children up to four years of age are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids.
People 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature.
People who are overweight may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat.
People who overexert during work or exercise may become dehydrated and susceptible to heat sickness.
People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.
Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.
Adjust to the Environment:
Be aware that any sudden change in temperature, such as an early summer heat wave, will be stressful to your body.
You will have a greater tolerance for heat if you limit your physical activity until you become accustomed to the heat. If you travel to a hotter climate, allow several days to become acclimated before attempting any vigorous exercise, and work up to it gradually.
Remember to keep cool and use common sense:
Avoid hot foods and heavy meals—they add heat to your body.
Drink plenty of fluids and replace salts and minerals in your body.
Dress infants and children in cool, loose clothing and shade their heads and faces with hats or an umbrella.
Limit sun exposure during mid-day hours and in places of potential severe exposure such as beaches.
Do not leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car.
Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets, and leave the water in a shady area.
Extreme Heat Safety Tips For Your Pets:
- Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle—hyperthermia can be fatal. Even with the windows open, a parked automobile can quickly become a furnace in no time. Parking in the shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts during the day.
- Always carry a gallon thermos filled with cold, fresh water when traveling with your pet.
- The right time for playtime is in the cool of the early morning or evening, but never after a meal or when the weather is humid.
- Street smarts: When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog standing on hot asphalt. His or her body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
- A day at the beach is a no-no, unless you can guarantee a shaded spot and plenty of fresh water for your companion. Salty dogs should be rinsed off after a dip in the ocean.
- Provide fresh water and plenty of shade for animals kept outdoors; a properly constructed doghouse serves best. Bring your dog or cat inside during the heat of the day to rest in a cool part of the house.
- Be especially sensitive to older and overweight animals in hot weather. Brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs such as bulldogs, pugs, Boston terriers, Lhasa apsos and shih tzus, as well as those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
- When walking your dog, steer clear of areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals. And please be alert for coolant or other automotive fluid leaking from your vehicle. Animals are attracted to the sweet taste, and ingesting just a small amount can be fatal. Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you suspect that your animal has been poisoned.
- Good grooming can stave off summer skin problems, especially for dogs with heavy coats. Shaving the hair to a one-inch length—never down to the skin, please, which robs Rover of protection from the sun—helps prevent overheating. Cats should be brushed often.
- Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
- Having a backyard barbecue? Always keep matches, lighter fluid, citronella candles and insect coils out of pets' reach.
- Make sure that there are no open, unscreened windows or doors in your home through which animals can fall or jump.
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