Stay cool, avoid heat's dangers

Sweltering temperatures continue to linger in the Rogue Valley, prompting a new round of reminders to help people stay cool and healthy.

A special weather statement updated this morning by the Medford office of the National Weather Service notes that temperatures are likely to top 105 degrees in Medford and could tie heat records around the region. The statement said temperatures could reach up to 115 in far northwest California.

Hot, dry weather brings a high risk of dehydration, heat exhaustion and even heat stroke, officials warn.

Oregon Public Health Director Dr. Mel Kohn advised people to be aware of the warning signs of heat-related illness and to watch especially closely for symptoms in seniors, small children and people with chronic illness who are most at risk.

The symptoms of heat exhaustion include muscle cramps, weakness, heavy sweating, headache and vomiting, he explained in a media release by the Oregon Department of Human Services.

Heat stroke is the most severe heat-related problems and can be life-threatening. Common symptoms include high body temperature, rapid pulse, difficulty breathing, confusion, dry skin, nausea and headache.

The key to avoiding heat-related sickness is to stay hydrated, stay cool, and use common sense, health officials said, offering the additional tips below.

Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, or have fruit juice or sports drinks to replace salts and minerals, too.

Use cool compresses, misting, showers and baths and fans to keep cool. Limit exposure to the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when ultraviolet rays are strongest. Try to schedule activities in the morning and evening.

Never leave infants, children or pets unattended in a parked car.

— Anita Burke

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