Local health leaders advise on how to avoid heat-related illnesses, say prevention is key | Northwestern and National News
KENNEWICK, WA – The Pacific Northwest is experiencing one of the most intense heat waves of all time, breaking records across the state.
The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory as our local area hits temperatures between 108 and 118 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Extreme temperatures like the ones we see now can affect anyone, not just the elderly, not just those with chronic illnesses, they affect children and anyone who works or is active outdoors.” Dr Amy Person said with the Benton. Franklin Health District told NBC Right Now.
Like our local region is suffering the relentless heatwave, with temperatures expected to stay in the triple digits all week, experts say it will be the region’s worst heat wave in the past 12 years.
Ben Shearer of Pasco Fire says the department is feeling the impact and seeing a high volume of calls related to heat-related illnesses.
“What we’re seeing is people don’t understand that heat sickness is cumulative… so if you get sick and start drinking water then you go into the shade and you rest, this is going to take a while for your body to recover so if you are feeling sick it is a good sign to take the rest of the day, “said Shearer.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, weakness, goosebumps in the heat, a quick but weak impulse, muscular cramps, dizziness, nausea or vomiting and finally, headache or fainting.
However, Dr Person and Ben Shearer say prevention is key, and they recommend staying in doors with the air conditioner on if possible.
“Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate well before you go outside for activities,” Shearer said.
“If you’re an employer, keep your workers indoors, if you can’t make sure they take frequent breaks and have access to fresh water, places to cool off,” added Dr Person.
Dr Person also says that as the heat stays on all night, it can also disrupt our sleep patterns, affecting us not only physically but also mentally.
“While you are trying to stay physically cool, also try to keep a cool head. So if that means taking a moment to pause before reacting, just remember that sometimes in these very hot temperatures temperaments s ‘warm up too … be kind to each other,’ she said.