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Health Advisory: Help Prevent Heat-Related Illness

Published July 26, 2022.

National Weather Service forecasts high temperatures in the Puget Sound region Tuesday, July 26 through Friday, July 29. Temperatures will rise into the low- to mid-90s, possibly higher later in the week. When outside temperatures are high, the risk of heat-related illness rises, especially for people who are:

  • 65 years or older.
  • 2 years or younger.
  • Pregnant.
  • Living homeless.
  • Living with mental illness or chronic disease.

When National Weather service issues a heat watch or heat warning, share these tips with your patients and community to help everyone stay safe.

Stay cool

  • Spend time in air-conditioned places. If you do not have air conditioning, consider visiting a library, community center, mall, movie theater or other cool public place.
  • Cover windows that get sun in the morning or afternoon.
  • Dress in lightweight clothes.
  • Use a cooling towel.
  • Check on your older neighbors and relatives. Encourage them to take these precautions.

Drink liquids

  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar because they can dehydrate you.
  • Have a beverage with you whenever possible. Sip or drink frequently. Don’t wait until you are thirsty.

If you go outside

  • Limit the time you are in direct sunlight.
  • Do not leave infants, children, people with mobility challenges or pets in a parked car, even with the windows rolled down.
  • Avoid activities that take a lot of energy.
  • Do outdoor activities in the cooler morning and evening hours.
  • Avoid sunburn. Use a sunscreen lotion with 15 SPF or higher.

Water safety

  • Some people go to lakes or rivers to cool off. Stay safe to prevent drowning. Wear a personal flotation device in the water. Be cautious.
  • If you want to swim, choose a safer place—visit a local pool or beach with a lifeguard instead.

Cooling centers

  • Find a cooling center near you.
  • Pierce Transit offers free rides to cooling centers. Tell your driver that you are going to or from a cooling center and your ride will be free.

Prevent and treat heat exhaustion and heat stroke