Beat the heat and be safe

In anticipation of extreme and potentially dangerous heat this weekend, public health officials are recommending ways to cool down and be safe.

Among other advice for this weekend and any other blazing hot weather this summer:

  • Drink plenty of water. Have a beverage with you at all times, and sip or drink frequently. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol, and large amounts of sugar. They can dehydrate the body.
  • Take a cool shower or bath, or place cool washcloths on your skin.
  • Check on elderly neighbors and relatives.
  • Never leave children, pets, or people with limited mobility in a parked car. The temperature inside can get dangerously high in seconds.
  • Reduce, eliminate, or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities without air conditioning if you can. If you normally exercise outdoors – as recommended –do it in the early morning or late evening.

Temperatures are expected to approach 100 degrees through the weekend and into next Monday. In such heat waves, hospitals experience an increase of people with heat stroke, as well as heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure.

The Seattle-King County Public Health Department notes that people with the highest risk of serious health problems from extreme heat include anyone 65 and older, outdoor workers, children, and people who have medical conditions or take medications that make it harder to regulate body temperature.

People who get hot at home and don’t have air conditioning are advised to spend time in places that do, such as shopping malls or movie theaters (if you’re vaccinated). For instance, Chapel Hill Church in Gig Harbor, in coordination with the City of Gig Harbor, will open a cooling center Saturday, Sunday and Monday (June 26-28). City officials said anyone can find relief at the church located at 7700 Skansie Ave. Enter through door D any time between 1 and 8 p.m. on the scheduled days.