Catawba County News

Hot weather poses health risks

Hot weather poses health risks

Published: May 23, 2019

With sweltering temperatures forecast over much of North Carolina for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, public health officials with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services are urging people to take steps to protect themselves from heat-related illnesses. Combined temperature and humidity readings could reach into the upper 90s over the next several days.

Symptoms of heat-related illness include muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, fainting, headaches, nausea and vomiting. Heat-related illness is preventable with proper precautions. However, every summer there are about 3,000 heat-related illness emergency department visits. Children, older individuals, outdoor workers and those with chronic health conditions are most vulnerable.

To reduce risk of heat-related illness:

  • Increase fluid intake
  • Take frequent breaks in cool or air-conditioned places if spending extended time outside
  • Reduce normal activity levels
  • Speak with your physician about how to stay safe if you take medicines that make you more vulnerable to heat, such as drugs for high blood pressure, migraines, allergies, muscle spasms, mental illness and tranquilizers
  • Check on neighbors, and if working outdoors, check on your co-workers
  • Never leave children or pets unattended in vehicles, especially during warm or hot weather, as temperature levels inside a car can reach a lethal level in a matter of minutes