Stay cool, hydrated and informed: Avoid heat-related sickness
With excessive heat warnings in effect throughout the metro area, Minneapolis City officials remind folks to take precautions to keep yourself and your families safe. Exposure to extreme heat can cause severe health effects such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke which may lead to death. Those most at-risk, include the elderly, outdoor workers, athletes, infants and children and people living with a chronic medical condition.
Here are a few steps folks can take to stay safe:
- Spend time in air-conditioned buildings.
- Contact the City of Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support at (612) 673-2301 or www.extremeheat.org or locate an air-conditioned public building in your area.
- Limit outdoor activity, especially midday, and avoid direct contact with the sun.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Take cool showers or baths to lower your body temperature.
- Check on at-risk friends, family and neighbors at least twice a day.
- NEVER LEAVE infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
- Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more fluids.
- Drink two to four cups of water every hour while working or exercising outside. Muscle cramps are an early sign of heat sickness.
- Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar.
- Make sure your family, friends and neighbors are drinking enough water.
- Apply sun screen regularly if outside. Sun burns are early signs of heat sickness.
- Check your local news for extreme heat warnings and safety tips.
- Visit www.extremeheat.org to find local information and tips for preventing heat sickness.
- Sign up for free weather alerts to your phone or e-mail from websites such as www.weather.com.
- Keep your friends, family and neighbors aware of weather and heat safety information.
Call (612) 673-2301 or visit www.extremeheat.org for more information.
For those who do not speak English, a special phone message has been activated pertaining to severe heat and what to do to stay safe. The recording is available in: English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Khmer, Lao, Vietnamese, Russian, Oromo, and Arabic by calling 1-888-883-8831 and choosing option 2. The service is sponsored by Emergency, Community, and Health Outreach (ECHO).
Published Aug. 9, 2010