Summer, glorious summer, what took you so long? While many of us enjoy our one and only week of basking in the warmth, it’s also a good idea to check-in with our neighbors and family members who are most at-risk for heat-related illness. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “People who have difficulty getting around or who have health conditions are particularly susceptible. The elderly and the very young also merit special attention during periods of high heat and humidity.”
Kathleen Cromp, Executive Director of the Wallingford COMMUNITY Senior Center (WCSC) also passed along this helpful message from Seattle and King County Public Health:
The National Weather Service has announced an excessive heat watch for this Thursday and Friday, with temperatures that will rise into the low to mid 90s. When outside temperatures are very high, the danger for heat-related illnesses rises. Older adults, young children, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at particularly high risk.
- Spend more time in air conditioned places. If you don’t have air conditioning, consider visiting a mall, movie theater or other cool public places.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun.
- Dress in lightweight clothing.
- Check up on your elderly neighbors and relatives and encourage them to take these precautions, too.
- Drink plenty of water. Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol and large amounts of sugar because they can actually de-hydrate your body.
- Have a beverage with you as much as possible, and sip or drink frequently. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
If you go outside:
- Limit the time you’re in direct sunlight.
- Do not leave infants, children, people with mobility challenges and pets in a parked car, even with the window rolled down.
- Avoid or reduce doing activities that are tiring, or take a lot of energy.
- Do outdoor activities in the cooler morning and evening hours.
- Avoid sunburn. Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.
More tips in English, Spanish, Chinese Vietnamese, Russian and Korean are available on our Beat the Heat webpage atwww.kingcounty.gov/health/beattheheat.aspx
Tips in additional formats (video, audio) and multiple languages can be found here:
Some people turn to local rivers to cool off, but drowning is a real concern. Please use caution and wear a personal flotation device (PFD) on the water. Find deals on affordable lifejackets at http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/injury/water/pfd.aspx And if you want to swim, choose a safer location – visit a local pool or lifeguarded beach instead.
Kathleen also wants to remind folks that the WCSC is available for those needing an escape from the heat. In fact, they’re on a list of Seattle’s designated cooling centers for seniors. “In our basement space, it is relatively cool & breezy,” she adds. “We have fluids and snacks on hand. Last heat wave, several people came here for a little break from the heat.”
The WCSC will be open today (Thursday, 8/16) from 8:45am to 6:00pm, and tomorrow (Friday, 8/17) from 8:45am to 6:00pm. “And we’re available to answer questions about this,” Kathleen added. “They can call at 206-461-7825. (Fastest way to get to a person.)