GCPH officials warn of heat dangers


XENIA — Due to the recent high temperatures and humidity, Greene County Public Health officials are reminding residents about the dangers of high temperatures.

Extremely high temperatures can be very dangerous. On average, 675 deaths from extreme heat events occur each year in the United States, GCPH officials reported.

“Most vulnerable are the elderly, those who work or exercise outdoors, infants and children, the homeless or poor, and people with a chronic medical condition,” officials said in a release.

Residents can take the following precautions to prevent serious health effects such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke:

Stay cool

— Stay in air-conditioned buildings. Local libraries are great places to escape the heat.

— Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device.

— Limit outdoor activity, especially midday when it is the hottest part of the day, and avoid direct sunlight.

— 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.

Stay hydrated

— Drink more than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.

— Drink two to four cups of water every hour while working or exercising outside.

— Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar.

— Make sure your family, friends and neighbors are drinking enough water.

Stay informed

— Check your local news for extreme heat warnings and safety tips.

— Visit www.gcph.info to find local information and tips for preventing heat sickness.

— Keep your friends, family and neighbors aware of weather and heat safety information.

Additionally, Greene County Public Health encourages all residents to learn the signs and first aid response for heat-related illness. Warning signs and symptoms vary but may include:

Heat Exhaustion Symptoms

— Heavy sweating

— Weakness

— Skin cold, pale, and clammy

— Weak pulse

— Fainting and vomiting

What You Should Do

— Move to a cooler location.

— Lie down and loosen your clothing.

— Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible.

— Sip water.

— If you have vomited and it continues, seek medical attention immediately.

Heat Stroke Symptoms

— High body temperature (above 103°F)

— Hot, red, dry or moist skin

— Rapid and strong pulse

— Possible unconsciousness

What You Should Do

— Call 911 immediately — this is a medical emergency.

— Move the person to a cooler environment.

— Reduce the person’s body temperature with cool cloths or even a bath.

— Do not give fluids.

“Finally, remember to never leave children alone in a vehicle. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911 and try to get them out safely. Always look before you lock,” officials said.

For more information on extreme heat, call GCPH at 937-374-5600 or visit www.gcph.info or www.cdc.gov/extremeheat.