Health board: Take precautions to combat extreme heat

Staff report


The Mahoning Valley will get a break from the 90-degree-plus highs of the past couple of days, but here comes the rain.

The high temperature in the area was 91 degrees both Sunday and Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

Showers and thunderstorms are likely today with a high temperature in the low 80s for the Valley, said Zach Sefcovic, a NWS meteorologist.

Showers and thunderstorms are possible Wednesday with the high reaching about 80, he said.

It will be sunny with highs near 80 on Thursday and Friday, he said.

With temperatures in the 90s Monday and high humidity, officials at the Mahoning County District Board of Health advised people to take extra precaution if going outside.

Erica Horner, director of nursing and community health for the board, advised the elderly, infants and those with chronic health problems to wear loose, light-colored clothing and to stay hydrated when temperatures get as high as they did Monday.

Those without air conditioning can visit a mall or public libraries to get respite from the heat, Horner said.

She also advised people to monitor signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale or clammy skin, nausea or vomiting. Horner said to get someone with symptoms to a cool place, put cool, wet cloths on them and have them sip water. People should seek medical help if vomiting occurs or symptoms worsen.

Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms include a temperature above 103; hot, red or dry skin; and a rapid pulse. Horner advised calling 911 immediately.

If it is necessary to work or exercise during the day, Horner said to consume at least 16 to 32 ounces of water every hour.

“Continue to stay hydrated,” she said. “Don’t wait until you feel thirsty.”

Here are more tips from the Ohio Department of Health to follow during periods of high temperatures and high humidity:

Family, friends and neighbors are urged to periodically check on the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions.

Plan outdoor activities for the early morning or evening when the sun is less direct.

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UV-A and UV-B rays and has a sun protection factor of at least 15.

Animals kept outdoors should have plenty of fresh water and a covered area to get out of the sun and cool down. Never leave pets in vehicles. Even if the windows are cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees within the first 10 minutes.

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