As the heat index rises, local and state health officials urge citizens to take extra precautions against heat-related illnesses. Daytime temperatures have risen to the mid to upper 90’s, and emergency room visits for heat related illnesses have risen as well, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
“As we approach these dangerously hot temperatures in North Carolina, we urge residents to take precautions when doing outside activities,” said Dr. Zack Moore, State Epidemiologist. “Whether you are outside for work or recreation, make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids to minimize risk of heat-related illness.”
To reduce risk of heat-related illness:
-Drink plenty of fluids
-Try to limit being outside during the hottest part of the day, usually 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
-Take breaks often during long periods of being outside. Go inside to cool down.
-Never leave children or pets unattended in vehicles. Temperature levels inside a car can reach a lethal level in a matter of minutes.
– Consult with your doctor about how to stay safe if you take medicines that make you more vulnerable to heat (high blood pressure, migraines, allergies, muscle spasms, mental illness and tranquilizers)
For more information on how to prevent heat-related health issues and to learn about heat-related illness in North Carolina, visit: http://publichealth.nc.gov/chronicdiseaseandinjury/heat.htm.