Southwest District Health issues excessive heat public health advisory for multiple Idaho counties

Posted at 4:39 PM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-25 18:40:35-04

CALDWELL, Idaho — With temperatures expected to exceed 100 degrees for consecutive days in the coming week, Southwest District Health issued an excessive heat public health advisory on Friday for Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington Counties.

What You Can Do in the Coming Days

SWDH has provided this list for what residents of the aforementioned counties can do in preparation for the coming heat wave:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Seek cooler locations during the day if no air conditioning is available.
  • Limit physical activity.
  • Limit exposure to the sun, particularly from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., when the sun is most powerful.
  • Apply and reapply sunscreen throughout the day, at least SPF 30, and at least 20 minutes before going outside.
  • Check on those who might be prone to heat sensitivities or heat-related illnesses.
  • Look before you lock! Never leave children, elderly people or pets unattended in enclosed vehicles, even for a short time.
  • Keep your A/C regularly maintained and take precautions.
  • Prepare for power outages, due to multiple households in your area using A/C.
  • Play in the water! Turn on your sprinklers! Fill the kiddie pool!
  • Avoid using the oven; plan for meals that don't require using the oven or stovetop. Some appliances can raise the temperatures in the house, as well as other electronics that aren't plugged in or in use.

Related: Idaho Power preparing for increased energy demand, asking customers to reduce energy use during the evening

Health Impacts of Extreme Heat

During extremely hot temperatures, it's not uncommon to see ailments such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat stresses.

According to SWDH, signs and symptoms of heat stroke vary, but may include the following:

  • An extremely high body temperature, at or above 106°F
  • Red, hot and dry skin; no sweating
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Heatstroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment isn't given as soon as possible.

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to hot temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids.

Like heat stroke, signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion vary, but may include the following, according to SWDH:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Skin: may be cool and moist
  • Pulse rate: fast and weak
  • Breathing: fast and shallow

Click here to learn more about extreme heat. Click here to see a CDC infographic about the differences between heat stroke vs. heat exhaustion.