Heat Wave’s Almost Over
Some people say, “if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.” This week they should be saying, “if you can’t take the heat wave, go somewhere cool.”
Temperatures this week have broken records, according to the National Weather Services. These heat waves are no laughing matter. Extreme heat in Minnesota caused 35 deaths between 2000 and 2010. That's in addition to the “extreme heat event that broke several records” last year, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
Due to the combination of heat and smoke from wildfires out west, Minnesota Pollution Control has announced a pollution health advisory until Monday, citing ozone level concerns. High levels of ozone are dangerous for the elderly, children, people with respiratory difficulties and those exercising outdoors.
In order to deal effectively with the problem the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health, according to a news release, recommend:
- “Drink more fluids than usual – but avoid fluids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar. Check with your doctor if you have been advised to limit your intake of fluids or placed on diuretics (“water pills”).
- Stay indoors – in an air-conditioned location, if possible. If your home is not air-conditioned, spending a few hours a day in an air-conditioned public place like a public library or shopping mall will help your body cope with the heat.
- Don’t rely on electric fans. Electric fans will not prevent heat-related illnesses when the temperature reaches the high 90s and above.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- Never leave people, children – or animals – in a closed, parked vehicle, even with the windows open.
- Check regularly on people who may be at higher risk of heat-related illness – infants and young children, people over 65, people with mental illness, and people with chronic health problems like heart disease or high blood pressure.
- If you must spend time outdoors, try to limit your activity to the cooler hours of the day, in the morning and evening. Try to take rest breaks in shady areas and drink plenty of water.
- Limit physical exercise. Again, when you do exercise, be sure to take in plenty of fluids.
- Taking a cool bath or shower can be an effective way to cool off.
- When you’re outdoors, wear hats and use sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.”