FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2021
Media Contact: Melissa Morin, Public Information Officer
Phone: (360) 594-2504
E-mail address: Health-PIO@co.whatcom.wa.us
Region Braces for Heat Wave
Health Department Urges Whatcom to Take Precautions this Weekend
BELLINGHAM, WA -- The National Weather Service forecasts sweltering temperatures for Whatcom County, with highs in the 90s and 100s through Monday, June 28. The Whatcom County Health Department advises residents to take proactive measures to stay cool over the weekend.
According to the National Weather Service, heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the U.S. People should be aware of the signs of heat related illnesses including heat rash, sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. People who have symptoms of heat stroke need immediate medical attention and should contact 911 immediately. Signs of heat stroke include:
- Body temperature of 103 degrees or more.
- Hot, red, dry, or damp skin.
- Fast, strong pulse.
- Losing consciousness.
More information about heat-related illnesses and how to treat them is available from the CDC
Heat related illness is avoidable. Take the following precautions
to stay safe in the heat:
- Monitor Those at High Risk. People may be at greater risk for heat-related illness if they are:
- Infants or young children.
- 65 years of age or older.
- Overexerting during work or exercise.
- Physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure.
- Taking certain medications, especially for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation.
- Stay cool indoors. Fans will not prevent heat illness when temperatures are in the 90s. Take a cool shower or bath and seek air-conditioned spaces instead. Avoid using ovens or stoves in the home to keep indoor temperatures cooler. If air-conditioning isn’t available at home, seek public indoor spaces with air-conditioning, such as shopping malls. If congregating in a public, indoor space, wear a mask if you’re unvaccinated or if that space becomes crowded.
- Hydrate. Drink more fluids than you normally would, but make sure you replace salt and minerals. Heavy sweating depletes salt and minerals. Sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade may be consumed to replace lost salts and minerals.
- Limit outdoor activity. If possible, limit your activities outdoors to the coolest parts of the day, in the morning and evening. Cut down on your exercise in the heat and rest often. People who work outside should take frequent breaks. More resources for people who work in the heat are available from the CDC.
- Wear appropriate clothing. Wear light-colored, light-weight and loose-fitting clothing.
- Don’t leave children or pets in parked cars, even with windows cracked open.
More tips for preventing heat illness are available from the CDC and DOH.
This information is also available as a PDF.