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AARP AARP States Oregon Health & Wellbeing

Take Extra Care to Avoid Heat-Related Illnesses and Symptoms

Beat the Heat!

The heatwave may be over for now, but more hot weather may be on its way so we’ve put together some tips and tools to help keep you safe.

AARP Oregon State Director Bandana Shreshtha urges residents to take heat-related hazards seriously and to be vigilant in checking on older residents, neighbors, and the medically vulnerable. "Extreme heat can be dangerous for anyone, but it can be especially dangerous for those with chronic medical conditions," said Shrestha. "If you or someone you know has a chronic medical condition, follow the appropriate steps to help keep you, or the person in your care, safe.

You can download a handy one-pager on safety tips from Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum's Office to hang on your refrigerator.

Steps to staying safe during extreme heat:

Follow tips from the CDC on how to prevent heat-related illness.

Exposure to extreme heat can create serious health problems, resulting in a condition known as heatstroke. Usually the elderly, the very young, those with other health conditions, and those without access to air conditioning or a source for hydration are most severely affected by heat.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) says that heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable, yet annually many people succumb to extreme heat. The OHA website provides easily accessible resources for members of the public, local health departments, and other organizations to assist ongoing outreach efforts to those most vulnerable to extreme heat events.

Check out these links for more information and information in other languages.

For heat exhaustion that has symptoms such as faint, dizzy, heavy sweating muscle cramps:

  • Move to a cooler location.
  • Sip water.
  • Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible.
  • Lie down and loosen your clothing.
  • If the person has vomited and it continues, seek medical attention immediately.

Heatstroke is indicated by a temperature of 103 or more along with hot skin, high pulse, headache, vomiting - even losing consciousness. If you see this:

  • Call 911 immediately - heat stroke is a medical emergency.
  • Move the person to a cooler environment.
  • Reduce the person's body temperature with cool cloths or even a bath.
  • Do NOT give fluids.
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