Wild summer weather continues, with temperatures reaching well past the 100 degree mark.
Health officials are urging residents to play it safe during the hot conditions.
“This heat we are seeing is coming in a lot earlier compared to past summers,” said Chief Nursing Officer Lisa Eberhardt of the Clark Fork Valley Hospital. “We really want to urge members of the community to keep an extra eye on kids and the elderly. There are extreme high UV ratings on top of the high temps. Most people will see heat exhaustion, but it’s the heat stroke that causes great concerns.”
Going from heavy sweating to no sweating can be the first sign of heat stroke.
Though heat exhaustion and heat stroke are similar, there are a few small differences. Heat exhaustion is very common, especially those that may spend some time out in the sun, sun baking or pottering around.
Signs of heat exhaustion include feeling faint or dizzy, excessive sweating, clammy skin, nausea, rapid or weak pulse and muscle cramping.
Heat stroke is slightly different, and more dangerous. This can sneak up on you, so don’t ignore the warning signs. such as throbbing headache, not sweating, raised body temperatures, rapid strong pulse or loss of consciousness.
There is also a self check that you can be done which is really simple. Grab/pinch a small piece of your skin on the back of your hand, if when released it still stands up, it is a great indicator you need to hydrate.
Also be mindful, do not leave kids and pets in vehicles. Ensure there is plenty of water that is easily accessible for kids and pets alike. People can also be able to freeze an ice-cream container full of water, place in front of a fan to help with some cool air.
A bucket filled with cool water can provide a cool foot spa that will help regulate body temperature.
Medical officials also urge residents to only work outside in the yard in the morning before 8 a.m., then not return to the outside until after 7 p.m.
“We look to have a long summer ahead, and this heat is unusual for the area. Please keep an eye on your neighbors, pets and humans alike, stay in the shade, drink plenty of water and stay away from energy drinks and caffeine,” said Eberhardt.
Tips to combat the heat:
• Get to a cool place
• Drink plenty of water
• If you are diabetic, you can add lemon or mint into your water
• You can also add an electrolyte to your water (go to your local pharmacy to get a good supply)
• Sip cool water, not cold!
• Wet a cloth or small wash towel with cool water and place on pulse points. ie; back of neck, feet, arm pits, wrists
• Take a cool shower
• Use a cold compress (but remember not to put ice directly on the skin)
• Have a Popsicle