Tips for staying cool in hot weather

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Lacey Hanson

As summer takes off, Multnomah County reminds us all how to stay cool and safe this summer:

  • Drink more water than usual. Don’t wait until you are thirsty.
  • Buddy up! Check on a friend and have them do the same for you.
  • Schedule tasks for earlier or later in the day to avoid midday heat.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Wearing and reapplying sunscreen as indicated on the package can help protect you. Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Use air conditioning if you have it in your home or visit a splash pad in your area. Visit the City of Portland’s Parks & Recreation webpage for splash pad locations.
  • If you have to use a fan, don't set it up to blow directly on you. Instead you should use it to create cross ventilation in your home.
  • Spray or sponge yourself with cool water.
  • Take a cool shower or bath.
  • Try not to use your stove and oven.
  • Keep the sun out of your home by closing your curtains or window shades.
  • Check local news for extreme heat alerts and safety tips.
  • Identifying heat-related illness may be difficult. You may need medical attention but not know it, so reach out to your neighbor or friend for help. If symptoms are recognized, seek medical attention immediately.

Remember Child Safety

As temperatures across the country continue to escalate above average highs, it is more important than ever to understand heat-health effects for children. Infants and young children are particularly sensitive to the effects of extreme heat and must rely on others to keep them safe. When left in a hot vehicle, a young child's body temperature may increase three to five times as quickly as an adult.

On average, every 10 days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle. These
deaths are 100 percent preventable, and everyone in the community has a role to play
in protecting children.

Here are a few simple things you can do:

  • Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle - even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running with the air conditioning on. Vehicles heat up quickly - if the outside temperature is in the low 80s, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in only 10 minutes, even with a window rolled down two inches.
  • Always make a habit of looking in the vehicle - front and back - before locking the door and walking away.
  • Create reminders to ensure no child is accidentally left behind in the vehicle. Place an item that is needed at your final destination in the back of the vehicle next to the child or place a stuffed animal in the driver's view to indicate a child is in the car seat.
  • Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately if you see a child alone in a hot vehicle. If he or she is in distress due to heat, get them out as soon as possible and cool down the child rapidly.