Summer Heat & Smoke
It has been a beautiful summer in the Pacific Northwest, more than 45 days of sunshine! But, as the weekend nears with high heat advisory warnings and the sudden influx of forest fire smoke, it’s important to keep in mind that weather can be dangerous if the proper precautions aren’t taken.
Be safe in the heat
Don’t leave a person or animal in a parked car.
Temperatures within a vehicle rise within minutes and can reach more than 150 degrees on a hot day.
Drink more water.
We dehydrate quicker in warmer weather. Have plenty of fresh, cool water to cool yourself down and stay hydrated. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugared sodas.
Wear sunscreen and loose-fitting clothing.
The sun’s harmful rays can still affect your skin through the smoke haze. Stay cool by wearing loose fitting clothing that allows air to circulate.
Eat smaller meals that are balanced and light.
Consider light salads and vegetables that are easier to process and don’t require an increase in metabolic heat.
Caution with outdoor exercise.
Avoid working out in the hottest parts of the day and make sure to increase your fluid intake for all that sweat loss. Consider taking your physical activity to air-conditioned indoors for the hottest days.
Be a good neighbor.
Check on those that are high-risk. Children and people aged 65 or older are more vulnerable in hotter temperatures.
Heat illness warning signs
- High body temperature (more than 103⁰)
- Red, hot and dry skin
- Rapid or strong pulse
If this happens
Cool the body (consider a cold-water cloth to the back of the neck) and make sure you are keeping up on water intake.
What about the smoke?
People with asthma and other respiratory diseases can experience worsening of their conditions in poor air quality. In addition, the elderly, young children and pregnant women are all sensitive to these conditions and should avoid exposure.
Check the air quality.
Listen and watch the news for health warnings about smoke. See current air quality.
Spend more time indoors.
Keep windows and doors closed. Run your air conditioner on recirculate to avoid pulling the smoky outdoor air inside. If you don’t have an air conditioner, try and seek shelter away from the affected area.
DISCLAIMER: The contents and opinions expressed by Everett Clinic teammates and providers on “A Healthier You” blog and those providing comments are theirs alone and are not a substitute for medical advice. Consult your own provider for personal health recommendations.
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