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Please be careful of the HEAT

July 6, 2012
Estherville Daily News

We recently ran an editorial advising people to be careful during the recent oppressive heat. We thought that was enough. Then we saw a vehicle parked in front of the Daily News with the windows open just a crack. Inside was a dog, sticking his nose through the window, trying to find cool air outside where the heat index was over 100.

We could only imagine what the temperature was inside the vehicle.

On Wednesday, the Fourth of July, a man hitchhiking through Estherville said he had passed out earlier that day from the heat. Fortunately, private citizens came to his aid after he said he had been rudely turned away from a local church.

So let's talk about it again.

Emmet County Public Health apparently agrees with us, because they've put out an excessive heat watch. And here's what they have to say:

Hot and humid weather is forecast for the next several days, and will create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible. You can take these steps to prevent heat-related illnesses, injuries and death during hot weather.

Anyone, even young and healthy individuals, can suffer heat stress if they are very active during hot weather or the heat index is very high; however, the following people are at greatest risk:

n Individuals 65 years of age or older.

n Infants and young children.

n Overweight individuals.

n People who are performing manual labor or exercising outdoors.

n People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take medications, such as those for depression, insomnia or poor circulation.

Reminders when temperature and humidity are high by:

n Keeping in the shade or air-conditioned areas as much as possible.

n Increasing fluid intake.

n Replacing salt and minerals by eating foods like bananas and salty crackers, or drinking rehydrating beverage such as sports drinks.

n Choosing lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

n Wearing sunscreen.

n Working slowly if not used to working or exercising in heat and humidity.

n Stopping outdoor activities immediately if they feel dizzy or nauseated.

n Using a buddy system. Watch others for heat-induced illness.

For additional information on heat stress, visit or guide.asp.



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