July 26, 2011
Oswego County Health Department Offers Tips to Stay Cool During a Heat Wave
Each year more people in the United States die from extreme heat exposure than from hurricanes, lightening, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. On average, about 300 people die each year from exposure to heat.
The Oswego County Health Department recommends that everyone understand the warning signs of heat-related illness and take special care of those at risk.
"The elderly and young children are at a higher risk for heat illness. People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies cannot properly cool themselves. The body normally cools itself by sweating. When humidity levels are high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly,� Dr. Dennis Norfleet, Public Health Director said.
Heat-stroke is a serious illness that occurs when the body cannot regulate its temperature. The body�s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. This type of heat-related illness can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.
Warning signs of heat illness could include:
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after exposure to high temperatures without proper fluid intake. If left untreated, it can progress to more serious heat stroke.
Warning signs of heat exhaustion could include:
�It�s important to take precautions during hot weather,� Dr. Norfleet added. The Oswego County Health Department recommends the following:
If you must be out in the heat:
To learn more about heat-related illness, call the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3547 or visit the New York State Department of Health web site at www.nyhealth.gov.
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