EUGENE, Ore. –With temperatures in some areas expected to reach upwards of 100 degrees this weekend, Lane County Public Health has offered a number of tips in the name of staying safe during periods of extreme heat, county officials said.
Lane County Public Health officials said the best protection against excessive heat is to stay cool, hydrated, and informed by watching the heat index to identify the most dangerous periods of extreme heat.
Outdoor activities should be scheduled during the morning or evening, which are typically the cooler times of day, county officials said. Public officials also recommend light-colored clothing and sunscreen, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding alcoholic and sugar-heavy drinks.
The county said heat stroke, which occurs when the body is unable to control its temperature, is the most serious heat-related illness. With heat stroke, the body’s temperature rises rapidly, sweating stops, and the body can’t cool down, public health officials said.
Risks include death or permanent disability if emergency treatment isn’t provided, the county said. Lane County Public Health officials said warning signs include a body temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or more, red and hot skin, a rapid pulse, and unconsciousness.
A heat stroke victim should be moved to a shady or air-conditioned space and their body temperature reduced with the cool, damp cloths, a garden hose, or a cool shower, public health officials said. County officials said a patient shouldn’t be given fluids and body temperature should be monitored until it reaches 101 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat exhaustion is a milder condition that can develop through longer exposure to high temperatures, the county said. Public officials said symptoms include heavy sweating, weakness, a fast and weak pulse, clammy skin, fainting, and nausea or vomiting. Someone experiencing heat exhaustion should be moved to a cooler location, their clothing loosened, with cool, wet cloths applied to as much of their body as possible, the county said.
Several locations around Lane County serve as cooling centers, the county said. A complete list can be found on the county’s website.