Hot temperatures are expected the next few days in the Portland-metro area and health officials are urging people to take safety precautions to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
The next few days people will certainly be flocking to fountains and pools to cool off but if you’re out enjoying the sun, American Medical Response (AMR) said to stay hydrated.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, people love the sun.
That’s because it’s a far contrast to what we experience most of the year.
But with temperatures expected in the 90s the next few days, it might be a shock to our system.
“People aren't used to the heat in this climate. We don't usually get days like this that are super hot so your body's not going to be accustomed to dealing with that kind of heat stress,” AMR Field Operations Supervisor, Samantha Katterman-Stekhuizen said.
Katterman-Stekhuizen said because of that AMR advises to avoid being outside for prolonged periods of time and stay inside with the air conditioning.
“Have fans if you don't have air conditioning, go to air-conditioned places you know malls or other places where you can stay cool. If you are going to be outside make sure you have a shady spot to stay in and avoid direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time cause' it's just going to be overwhelming,” she said.
And for those who have to work outside like construction workers, her advice: take breaks.
“They're just going to have to be more frequent than normal and lots of hydration so you're probably going to drink in really high temperatures twice the amount of water you would normally need,” Katterman-Stekhuizen said.
And with vulnerable populations like the elderly, kids and pets it’s especially important she said to stay on top of their conditions.
“If you have an elderly you know who lives by themselves they may not have access to air conditioning, check on them that's one of the populations that we definitely have to keep an eye on in this kind of weather,” Katterman-Stekhuizen said. “With children just make sure that you're not overdressing them that they're staying in light clothing.”
All of these precautions are to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) said heat exhaustion is characterized by symptoms of faint or dizziness, excess sweating and a rapid pulse with nausea.
It’s turned to heat stroke when OHA said someone may be confused, lose consciousness and body temperature is more than 103 or 104 degrees, which can be life-threatening.
That’s why AMR said give your body time to acclimate to the heat.
The Multnomah County Health Department said it’s monitoring the heat situation and is directing folks on its website to places you can go to stay cool.
It’s not opening cooling centers right now.
Here’s a list of splash pads and fountains in Portland: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/article/578662?
Here’s a list of swimming pools: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/38284
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