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Health department offers tips to help deal with heat

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By Molly Haines

As weather forecasters recently called for local temperatures in the low- to mid-90s, many people are looking for ways to stay protected against the scorching heat.

Three Rivers District Health Department’s Community Health Planner, Melody Stafford, said there are two things for everyone to remember when temperatures start to soar.

“Stay cool and drink lots of water,” Stafford said. “Those two things are imperative when it starts to get this hot.”

Stafford said many people think of children’s safety during the heat, but elderly people should also be kept in mind.

“A lot of people think about leaving their kids in the car,” Stafford said. “The same thing goes for elderly. They should never be left in a hot, enclosed space like that. Those who are 65-years-old plus are more prone to problems related to heat. Medical conditions can worsen in heat and some prescriptions can make things worse.”

Stafford said staying away from strenuous activity is also important.

“If you’re not in an air-conditioned work environment or home, try to find a place you can go to during the hottest part of the day,” Stafford said. “If it’s at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place.”

Stafford said keeping a close eye on elderly people who do not have air-conditioning is also important.

“Because so much can happen, it’s important to check on elderly neighbors or loved ones who do not have air conditioning,” Stafford said. “If it’s possible, take them to your home where you may have air-conditioning.”

Stafford also said staying away from alcoholic beverages is vital.

According to the National Weather Service, during high-temperature weather, alcohol can worsen the effects of heat on the body.

The NWS also advises adults not to get too much sun because sunburn reduces the body’s ability to dissipate heat.