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Heat wave - officials issue health advisory

The National Weather Service Seattle (NWS) and Public Health - Seattle & King County have each issued heat advisories for an unusually long period of hot weather this week.

Forecasters are predicting “the hottest weather of the year” with unbroken sunshine and temperatures reaching the mid-90s until at least Friday, July 31.

Public health officials warn that high temperatures could cause heat stroke in vulnerable older adults, young children and people with mental illness. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.

Health officials recommend:

• Spend more time in air-conditioned places. If you don’t have air conditioning, visit a mall, movie theater or other cool public places.

• Dress in lightweight clothing.

• Limit your direct exposure to the sun.

• Never leave infants, children, people with mobility challenges or pets in a parked car, even with the windows rolled down.

• Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun.

• Do not take salt tablets unless directed to by a physician.

• Check with your physician if you are concerned about heat and the specific medications that you are taking. Certain medications may increase sensitivity to the heat.

• Check up on your elderly neighbors or relatives, especially those people at greatest risk.

• Drink more water or nonalcoholic, noncaffeinated beverages.

• Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink.

If you go outside:

• Avoid or reduce strenuous activity outdoors.

• Limit activity to morning and evening hours.

• Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.

Watch for symptoms of overheating:

• Symptoms of heat exhaustion include muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting. If symptoms appear, move to a cooler location, rest for a few minutes and slowly drink a cool beverage. Seek medical attention immediately if you do not feel better.

• Symptoms of heat stroke include an extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees), red, hot and dry skin (no sweating), rapid and strong pulse, nausea, confusion and unconsciousness. Get immediate emergency help by calling 9-1-1.

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