Beat the heat in Rowan: hot temperatures sticking around awhile

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, June 17, 2015

By David Purtell

Temperatures will be very hot the rest of this week and into next week in Rowan County and throughout the Piedmont.

Historically for the area, average high temperatures for the this time of year are in the mid-to-upper 80s, but Monday and Tuesday the temperature was in the mid-to-upper 90s and the forecast shows daily highs will, for the most part, stay in the 90s for rest of the month.

The forecast calls for low temperatures to be in the lower 70s and upper 60s in the days ahead.

Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control on how people can stay safe in hot temperatures:

• Stay indoors and, if possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. For people who live in a home without air conditioning, go to a place like a grocery store or public library. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help people stay cooler when they go back into the heat.

• Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.

• People need to drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of their activity level or whether they’re thirsty. For people whose doctor generally limits the amount of fluid they drink or has them on water pills, they should ask their doctor how much they should drink while the weather is hot.

• Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar — these can cause people to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.

• Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.

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

• Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on: Infants and young children, people aged 65 or older, people who have a mental illness, those who are physically ill — especially with heart disease or high blood pressure — visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

For people who will be outside in the heat:

• Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.

• Cut down on exercise, and, if exercising, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour.

• Rest often in shady areas.

• Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and wear sunscreen that is SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels.

Signs someone is suffering from heat exhaustion are cool, pale, clammy skin; weakness; heavy sweating; a weak, fast pulse; nausea; muscle cramps; dizziness and fainting.

Susanne Ford, a veterinarian with the Salisbury Animal Hospital, offered tips for people with pets:

• Don’t leave dogs and cats alone in cars.

• Keep an eye on pets and animals to make sure they aren’t showing signs of being overheated — such as heavy panting, staggering, excessive thirst, weakness. Bring overheated animals to an emergency clinic to prevent lasting damage.
Bulldogs, pugs and Boston terriers are at high risk for overheating because of pushed in faces.
• For outdoor dogs: use fans and freeze water in milk jugs to give them something cool to lean against. Provide fresh water often, let them get in a pool of water and make sure they have shade. And keep them off hot pavement.
Contact Reporter David Purtell at 704-797-4264. Salisbury Post intern Allana Ansbro contributed to this story.