Health Officials Encourage Caution as Temperatures Rise

Health Officials Encourage Caution as Temperatures Rise

By / State News / الأربعاء, 15 حزيران/يونيو 2016 04:00

RALEIGH, N.C. - June 10th, 2016 - As North Carolina approaches summer, health officials with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services are
urging citizens to take extra precautions against heat-related illnesses.
"It is critical for people to take preventive action since North Carolina summers can be dangerously hot,” said Dr. Randall Williams, State Health Director. “Whether you are outside for work or recreation, gardening or attending
outdoor festivals and events, make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids to minimize risk of heat-related illness.”
Symptoms of heat-related stress and illness include muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, fainting, headaches, nausea and vomiting, and can be avoidable with proper precautions.
Children, older North Carolinians, outdoor workers, and those with chronic health conditions are most vulnerable to illness during the hot summer months.
To reduce risk of heat-related illness:
• Drink plenty of fluids
• If spending multiple hours outside, take breaks in cool or air-conditioned environments
• Speak with your physician about how to stay safe if you take medicines that make you more vulnerable to heat, such as drugs for
high blood pressure, migraines, allergies, muscle spasms, mental illness and tranquilizers
• Reduce time spent outside during the hottest part of the day, usually 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
In addition to these steps, Operation Fan/Heat Relief offers some people 60
or older, or people with disabilities, the opportunity to receive one fan per year to help alleviate heat problems in their home.
For more information on how to prevent heat-related health issues and to learn about heat-related illness in N.C., visit: http://publichealth.nc.gov/chronicdiseaseandinjury/heat.htm
Hot Weather Tips for Seniors
Talk with your doctor and be aware of the medications you take and know for example that painkillers
can reduce awareness of the heat and diuretics, which promote fluid loss, can lead to dehydration more often during hot weather.
In addition to using electric fans, the following tips should be observed to reduce heat-related problems:
• Cool off by taking baths or showers, or placing ice bags or wet towels on
the body
• Stay out of direct sunlight, put shades over the windows, and use cross-ventilation and fans to cool rooms
• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that permits sweat to evaporate
• Drink plenty of liquids such as water, fruit, or vegetable juices and iced tea to replace the fluids lost by sweating.
As a person ages, thirst declines. Limit intake of alcoholic beverages
or fluids that have too much salt, since it can complicate existing medical problems, such as high blood pressure
• Eat small meals, and eat more often and avoid foods that are high in protein, which increases metabolic (body) heat
• Keep your medicines in a cool, dry place
• Check up on friends or neighbors who live alone
• This can also be a good time to join your local senior center or take advantage of buildings made accessible to seniors during excessive heat. Your community’s public information office can be contacted for additional information
Take the heat seriously, and do not ignore danger signs like nausea, dizziness or lightheadedness, fatigue,
confusion, labored breathing, chest discomfort, and rapid or erratic pulse.
They can all be signs of trouble. Get to a cool place, drink cool water slowly and seek medical help if conditions don’t improve.
Source: North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

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