How to stay safe during the heat wave

The heat wave in the Willamette Valley forecast over this weekend will be a challenge for many residents. The average high June temperature is 74 degrees. Sunday’s temperature is expected to reach 115 degrees. Triple digit highs may not be a hardship for those with air conditioned homes and workspaces, but it will be different for residents without air conditioning and for the shelterless.

The Oregon Heath Authority offers tips for staying safe and healthy during extreme heat conditions.

• Stay in air-conditioned places when temperatures are high, if possible. If you’re outside, find some shade.

• Limit exposure to the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest. Try to schedule activities in the morning and evening.

• Avoid strenuous activity when it’s hot. This could lead to heat stroke.

• Open windows to allow fresh air to circulate, especially during morning and evening hours, and close shades on west-facing windows during the afternoon hours.

• Use portable electric fans to exhaust hot air from rooms or draw in cooler air.

• Wear loose-fitting clothing to keep cool and protect your skin from the sun.

•  Use cool compresses, misting, and cool showers and baths.

• Avoid hot foods and heavy meals; they add heat to the body.

• Never leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car. They can suffer from heat-related illness.

• Dress infants and children in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.

• Use sunscreen with at least SPF 15 when going outside. 

 Drink plenty of fluids, even if you are not thirsty and especially when working outside.

• Avoid alcohol or liquids containing large amounts of sugar. 

Heat-related illnesses are preventable. Learn the symptoms and what to do if you or a loved one shows signs of having a heat-related illness:

KEIZERTIMES Infographic / Andrew Jackson