Summer has finally arrived and it's time to take some extra precautions. Intense heat can create serious health problems. Humans can acclimatize to the heat; it takes about a week for our bodies to adjust. However, temperatures above 90 degrees seldom persist in Portland long enough for people to truly "get used to the heat."
Portland Fire & Rescue reminds you to prepare yourself and family for the hot temperatures that are predicted. Remember, elderly persons, small children, and those with chronic health issues are particularly susceptible to heat reactions.
For tips to "stay cool," make sure to:
- Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
- Never leave anyone (including animals) in an enclosed vehicle, even with the windows partially open.
- Drink plenty of fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Start drinking fluids at least 30 minutes before going out.
- Avoid beverages with caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar because these can actually result in the loss of body fluid.
- Eat smaller meals, more often, but be sure meals are well balanced, cool and light.
- Take frequent breaks when working or recreating outside.
- Wear sunscreen SPF 15 or higher, wide-brimmed hats and light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.
- Dress infants and children in cool, loose clothing. Shade their heads and faces with hats or an umbrella. Use sunscreen as directed on small children!
- Consult your health care provider about the added effects of sun and heat when taking prescription drugs, especially diuretics, antihistamines and antidepressants.
- Check on your animals frequently to ensure they are not suffering from the heat, have water and shade.
For more tips and information, visit the Portland Office of Emergency Management Web site.
Looking for a place to cool down? Visit Portland Parks and Recreation's Web site to view a list of community centers, parks, and pools.
Portland Fire & Rescue We Respond: Always Ready, Always There
July 7, 2010