Herald Columnists

June 28, 2012

Some advice for beating the heat

OSKALOOSA — Mother Nature is cranking up the thermostat on us this week! Temperatures are soaring across Iowa compared to previous days. In Oskaloosa, temperatures for the next day or two are forecast to be right at 100 degrees. Heat index values will reach up to around 105 degrees out. Little relief is in sight, with slight chances of showers and thunderstorms over the next few days. Temperatures will remain in the 90s for the next week or so. Due to the heat wave, I decided to run reminders on heat safety this week.

According to the National Weather Service, heat is the No. 1 weather-related killer in the United States. Excessive heat waves in recent years have been attributed to large life loss. In 1980, a heat wave killed over 1,250 people in the United States. The 1995 heat wave killed more than 700 people in the Chicago area. In 2003, a massive heat wave in Europe killed 50,000 people.

When extreme heat situations are present, anyone is at risk for heat-related illness but, the elderly and young are at the highest risk. If the event of excessive heat (like what today will be like), residents should always drink plenty of fluids, stay in the air conditioning, and stay out of the sun. You should also keep an eye on pets and check up on your relatives and neighbors. Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even if the windows are rolled down.

Signs of heat-related illness are: “An extremely high body temperature (above 103° F), red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating), Rapid, strong pulse, Throbbing headache, Dizziness, Nausea, Confusion, Unconsciousness. In the event of heat illness, the victim should be moved into a shady area and cooled immediately. Body temperature should be monitored and persons should seek medical attention right away.”

Source: The National Weather Service/Centers for Disease Control

If you have a question about anything that is occurring in the community, or about an upcoming event, please feel free to send them to me. I will do my best to find an answer for you. Please e-mail them to me at oskyquestions@gmail.com.

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