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High heat brings high risks

High temps and heat indexes today and Tuesday present higher risks of heat-related illness.

Monday afternoon will bring a 50% chance of showers and thunderstorms, though the day will be mostly sunny with a high near 96 degrees. Heat index can make it feel as hot as 107.

Monday night’s chance of precipitation drops to 30%, with a low around 74 and a clam wind.

Tuesday’s forecast is for sunny skies with a high near 95 and heat index values as high as 99.

With a high heat index for the beginning of the week — the single value that takes both temperature and humidity into account — people working or spending extending time outdoors should take precautions.

People working in direct sunlight or wearing heavy protective clothing should anticipate higher heat index conditions.

When the heat index is less than 91-103 degrees, as it is expected to be Tuesday, there is a moderate risk level to individuals spending extended time outdoors. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends taking precautions and heightened awareness. In high heat index risks — 103-115 degrees, as Monday — OSHA recommends additional precautions.

Ready.gov defines periods of high heat and humidity with temps above 90 degrees for two or more days as extreme heat. Older adults, children and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.

The Ready.gov national safety campaign recommends people find air conditioning and avoid strenuous activities in extreme heat conditions, if possible. Wear light clothing and drink plenty of fluids. Check on family members and neighbors and never leave people or pets in a closed vehicle.

 

Heat cramps, exhaustion or stroke

Be vigilant for heat cramps, exhaustion or heat stroke.

Signs of heat cramps are muscle pain or spasms in the stomach, arms or legs. If these occur, go to a cooler location. Remove excess clothing and take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. If you are sick and need medical attention, call your healthcare provider first. If cramps last for more than one hour, seek medical attention.

Signs of heat exhaustion are heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, fainting, nausea and vomiting. If any of these are happening, go to an air-conditioned place and lie down. Loosen or remove clothing. Take a cool bath. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar, and call your healthcare provider if symptoms worsen or last more than one hour.

Heat stroke occurs with extremely high body temperature, above 103 degrees; red, hot and dry skin with no sweat; rapid, strong pulse; and dizziness, confusion or loss of consciousness. If these signs present, call 911 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives.