Heat!

MOSES LAKE - The Grant County Health District has issued a Heat Advisory as the Columbia Basin experiences a stretch of high temperatures.

The health district is urging residents to take extra precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses as possible record-breaking temperatures are in store for the weekend and into next week.

“Extreme heat often results in the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards,” health district officials stated. “Heat-related illnesses are preventable. It is important to learn the symptoms and what to do if you or a loved one shows signs of having a heat-related illness. In extreme heat, evaporation is slowed, and the body must work extra hard to maintain normal temperature.”

Groups at increased health risk from extreme heat including adults age 65 and up, people with chronic medical conditions, young children and those who work or exercise outside.

“The early warning signs of heat stress can include decreased energy, slight loss of appetite, light-headedness, and nausea,” health district officials added. Anyone experiencing those symptoms should go to a cool environment, drink fluids, remove excess clothing and rest. 

Serious signs of health stress can include unconsciousness, rapid heartbeat, throbbing headache, dry skin, chest pain, mental confusion, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, staggering and difficulty breathing. People experience symptoms should get immediate medical attention.

The health district says it’s important to visit older friends, relatives and neighbors to make sure fans and air conditions are working. People who do not have air conditioning are advised to get away from the heat by visiting friends or relatives who have air conditioning.

Health and safety tips to avoid heat-related illness:

  • Stay indoors and in an air-conditioned environment as much as possible.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine or a lot of sugar
  • Eat more frequently but make sure meals are balanced and light
  • Never leave any person or pet in a parked vehicle
  • Avoid dressing babies in heavy clothing or wrapping them in warm blankets
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun
  • Make sure pets have plenty of water