Triangle deals with early summer heat

mhankerson@newsobserver.comJune 20, 2014 

  • Know the signs of heat illness

    Heat-related illnesses, like heat stroke, have several signs that should prompt caretakers to seek medical attention. State Health Director Robin Gary Cummings said residents should try to limit outdoor activity, especially during the afternoon, when temperatures peak. If it can’t be avoided, the following signs are markers that it may be time to head indoors:

    Muscle cramps

    Fatigue, weakness

    Dizziness, fainting

    Headache

    Nausea or vomiting

    Source: N.C. Department of Health

— As temperatures approached 100 degrees last week, state agencies issued warnings as locals figured out the best ways to stay cool during the early summer heat.

The North Carolina Department of Public Health advises people to reduce the amount of time they spend outside.

In Garner, the Heather Hills pool was vibrantly active Wednesday.

Cassie Peacock laid out with friends on chairs as their children played basketball in the pool. With school just out, they all indicated that the kids needed to get some energy out. The heat limited options.

“This is about the only thing we can do outside,” Peacock said.

Garner Volunteer Fire and Rescue Chief Matt Poole said there were a few heat-related calls to which the agency helped respond, but none were life-threatening.

High temps hit the whole state

Staying cool while outside is a priority, since according to the NC Department of Health, there were 95 heat-related incidents in emergency rooms between June 8 and 14.

In its 2014 heat report, which is published online, the department looks through emergency room documents to identify any incident mentioning heat. The department said it often yields results that are less than the number of people who actually suffer heat-related illnesses.

Usually, the report said, the temperature was about 92 degrees when someone needed medical attention.

The report also said most heat ailments came on the heels of four common activities: working outside, getting too hot at work, exercising and this month, the U.S. Open was also a common place where heat-related illnesses happened.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services also warned residents of some vulnerable populations, like older people, to take extra precautions against staying out in the heat.

The N.C. Division of Aging and Adult Services also encourages extra attention to older neighbors and family members to make sure they are not affected by the heat.

The National Weather Service issued a statement saying temperatures in the mid- and upper-90s combined with humidity will create heat indices of almost 100 degrees.

Wednesday's hot weather also marked the beginning of a few days of possible thunderstorms, marked by heavy winds and large hail, the National Weather Service said.

 

Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter: @easternwakenews

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