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How to stay safe in extreme heat this week

With extreme heat forecast for Ohio this week, here's how you can keep yourself and your family safe from the heat.
Credit: WTOL 11

TOLEDO, Ohio — Temperatures in Ohio are expected to hover in the 90s this week, and the hot weather is not going away anytime soon. 

Because of that, the Ohio Department of Health is advising people, especially young children, the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions, to take the necessary steps to protect their health and well-being. 

Here are a few suggested steps to protect yourself from the summer heat this week and beyond. 

RELATED: Climate Friday | You can expect more 90-degree days in northwest Ohio going forward

1. Know the signs of Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion

Heat stroke/exhaustion is a potentially life-threatening condition, characterized by a body temperature of 103 degrees or higher. According to the ODH, a patient could experience the following symptoms after being outside for an long period of time:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, pale and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Headache and/or nausea

If you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms, ODH representatives advise you to move the person to a cool place, loosen their clothing and have them sip water. If possible, put cool, wet clothes on the person or take a cool bath.

If the exhausted individual begins throwing up, or if symptoms get worse or last for over an hour – call 911.

2. Drink fluids

Hydration is vital in order to protect yourself against extreme heat. ODH officials advise adults drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day, and even more on hot, humid days.

You should also avoid drinking fluids that contain alcohol or caffeine, as they can dehydrate you and potentially increase heat illness symptoms.

3. Avoid outdoor activity as much as possible

Even in the heat, life continues on. If you are going to be working outside during a period of extreme heat, suggestions for best protection include:

  • Plan outdoor activities for the early morning or evening when the sun is less direct
  • Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing
  • A wide-brimmed hat protects against sunburn and helps keep the body cooler
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UV-A and UV-B rays and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15
  • Move to the shade or into an air-conditioned building at the first signs of heat illness

Young children may become busy with outdoor play and not realize they are getting overheated. Adults should require frequent breaks and bring them indoors for a cool drink.

4. Don't forget the pets

Not only does your health matter, but your pets need attention, too, during extreme heat. Make sure to provide your pets with plenty of cool water and a shady area to rest if they are outside for an extended period of time. 

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, leaving dogs in a car with the windows open a crack makes little difference in whether a car will heat up in warm temperatures, so do not leave your pet in the car. Temperatures inside a sealed car in the summer can rise over 20 degrees in only 10 minutes, according to ODH. 

RELATED: Severe thunderstorm watch issued for northwest Ohio Wednesday | WTOL 11 Weather

The heat is coming and it is not going away anytime soon. Make sure to take care of your health and well-being this summer. 

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