Fri Jul 6th, 2018
Tags: CDPHE, Colo. Dept. of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Dane Matthew, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, heat-related illnesses, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response, OSHA
With temperatures in the triple digits this week, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is reminding residents and visitors to take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses. Heat-related illnesses include heat exhaustion or heat stroke, which can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs. These conditions happen because the body’s temperature rises faster than the body can cool itself.
During extreme heat, stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible. Some counties are partnering with cities and towns to make sure additional locations, such as recreation and senior centers, are available to anyone who needs to come in for a few hours to cool down. Call your local public health agency to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
Older adults, the very young, people with mental illness and chronic diseases, and people living without air conditioning are at highest risk for heat-related illness and should be watched closely. “Friends, families and neighbors should check in on the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions routinely,” said Dane Matthew, director of the department’s Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response. “Heat can also affect young and healthy people if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather.”
To avoid illness from heat, public health officials recommend these precautions:
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has heat-safety resources for employers, including mobile apps that can alert workers when extreme heat conditions exist.
Move people experiencing signs of heat exhaustion to a cool place as soon as possible. Applying cool, wet cloths to their head and body, or placing them in a cool bath also can help cool them down. People should get medical help immediately if they vomit, their symptoms last longer than one hour, or their symptoms worsen.
Signs of heat exhaustion include:
For more information about heat-related illness, visit the CDC website.