North Carolina health officials are urging simple steps to prevent a trip to the emergency room during the high temperatures across North Carolina this week.
Acting State Health Director Robin Gary Cummings said those steps include drinking plenty of water or juice to avoid dehydration and, if possible, limiting time outdoors, especially in the afternoon when the sun and temperatures are at their peak.
With many summer camps still in session, children should be closely monitored for signs of heat stress, including:
Older North Carolinians also are very susceptible to complications from extreme heat. The N.C. Division of Aging and Adult Services is encouraging frequent checks on older family members and neighbors to be sure they are protected from the heat. Additional safety measures for people of all ages include:
According to data collected from hospital emergency departments across the state, there were 95 heat-related illness emergency department visits last week, when temperatures were much lower than they are predicted for this week. The National Weather Service is forecasting heat indices of up to 103 degrees Thursday in the central region of the state and indices as high 105 degrees in the coastal region.
"The majority of people seeking emergency care are between 25 and 64 years old," Cummings said. "These are folks who are out exercising, doing yard work or recreational activities, and those who have jobs that keep them outdoors. It is critical that everyone take proper precautions to avoid illness when the temperatures are high."