Douglas Co. Officials Urge Caution During Excessive Heat Warning

By KBJR News 1

Douglas Co. Officials Urge Caution During Excessive Heat Warning

July 18, 2011 Updated Jul 18, 2011 at 11:28 AM CDT

Posted by Melissa Burlaga

Superior, WI (Northland's NewsCenter) The Douglas County Public Health Service is urging people to protect themselves from the dangerous heat and humidity expected this week.

The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for all of Douglas County through Wednesday, July 20th.

Summer heat waves have been the biggest cause of weather related deaths in Wisconsin for the past 50 years, more than tornadoes and severe storms.

In 1995, two major heat waves affected most of Wisconsin, resulting in 154 heat-related deaths and over 300 heat-related illnesses.

The elderly, young children, and those with chronic medical conditions are most at risk for developing heat-related illness, but it is important for everyone to take the following steps to protect themselves during periods of excessive heat:

Never leave children, disabled persons, or pets in a parked car – even briefly.

Temperatures in a car can become life threatening within minutes.

Keep your living space cool.

Cover windows to keep the sun from shining in.

If you don’t have an air conditioner, open windows and use fans to let air circulate.

Basements or ground floors are often cooler than upper floors.

Slow down and limit physical activity.

Plan activities for early morning or after dark, when temperatures are cooler.

Drink plenty of water and eat lightly.

Don’t wait for thirst, but instead drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Avoid alcohol or caffeine and stay away from hot, heavy meals.

Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing.

Add a hat or umbrella to keep your head cool and don’t forget sunscreen!

Don’t stop taking medication unless your doctor says you should.

Take extra care to stay cool and ask your doctor or pharmacist for any special heat advice.

Infants should continue to drink breast milk or formula to get the right balance of water, salts and energy.

Talk with your infant’s doctor before giving any additional water.

Taking a cool shower or bath will cool you down. A shower or bath will actually work faster than an air conditioner.

Applying cold wet rags to the neck, head and limbs also cools down the body quickly.

Watch for signs of heat-related illness in yourself and others, and immediately cool down and seek medical attention to prevent serious illness.

Signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke can include:

*Heavy sweating
*Muscle cramps
*Nausea or vomiting
*Red, hot, dry skin
*Rapid pulse

For more information on extreme heat or heat-related illness, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/features/extremeheat/, or call the Douglas County Public Health Service at 715-395-1304.