WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The National Weather service warns of extreme heat, having issued an excessive heat warning for the Washington, D.C. area that will last until 9 p.m.
Young children, elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk, with temperatures expected to hover around 100 degrees throughout the day – with humidity it will feel closer to 110 to 115 degrees.
Metro has temporarily lifted its ban on beverages because of the overwhelming heat, saying that passengers may carry water bottles on the trains throughout the weekend.
Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness. If you are 65 years of age or older, have a friend or relative call to check on you twice a day during a heat wave.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these tips to staying cool during extreme heat and avoiding heat stroke:
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. During heavy exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool fluids each hour. Avoid sugary drinks as these will cause you to lose more body fluid.
Replace Salt and Minerals
Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body that are necessary for your body. Sports drinks can replace both after losing sweat. If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports drink or taking salt tablets.
Wear Appropriate Clothing and Sunscreen
Wear as little clothing as possible when you are home. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing when you’re outdoors. Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. If you must go outdoors, give yourself extra protection from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat AND sunglasses. Also, you do not just have to be at the beach or the pool to apply sunscreen. 30 minutes before going out, apply SPF 15 sunscreen or higher with “UVA/UVB protection” on the label, then continue to reapply throughout the day.
Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully
If you need to be outdoors, try to limit your activity to morning and evening hours and rest often in shady areas so your body’s thermostat will have a chance to recover.
If you are not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If the heat causes you to feel like your heart is pounding and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity and get into a cool area to rest, ESPECIALLY if you become lightheaded, confused, weak or faint.
Stay Cool Indoors
Avoid the hassle altogether by staying indoors if possible, in the comfort of air conditioning. If your home is without air conditioning, find a shopping mall or public library – even a few hours spent in AC can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Also, taking a cool shower is great for lowering your body temperature.
Use A Buddy System
When working in the heat, you can monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you.
Monitor Those At High Risk
Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, those that are far more sensitive to heat include infants and young children, people 65 years of age or older, people who are overweight, people who tend to overexert themselves during workouts, and people who are already physically ill.
Do Not Leave Children Or Pets In Cars
Even in cool temperatures, cars can heat up to dangerous levels very quickly, which makes it that much more important to avoid the issue during a heat wave. Even with windows cracked, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees within the first 10 minutes. In heat this hot, death is certainly a possibility.
Use Common Sense
Avoid hot foods and drinks, as well as heavy meals that add to your body heat. Drink plenty of fluids. Limit sun exposure during peak heat hours.