The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for most counties in the southern Lower Peninsula today, as the temperature broke 90 degrees.
The temperature reached 93 degrees today in Ypsilanti. The National weather service defines a heat wave as three or more consecutive days above 90 degrees for the northern U.S.
Detroit’s high temperature was above the 90-degree mark each day since Sunday.
Washtenaw County Public Health issued a release yesterday to provide tips for staying safe in the heat of summer.
Public Health Preparedness Coordinator Cindra James said in the release to keep in mind simple things to stay cool and avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke: drink non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated liquids, stay somewhere air-conditioned and take cold showers or cold baths.
Humans are not the only ones at risk for heat stroke and exhaustion. The release also warned that people keep an eye on their animals, especially if they are outside.
Beat the Heat Tips (from the release):
• Keep cool – Spend as much time as you can in cooler surroundings, such as an air-conditioned shopping mall, senior center, public library or movie.
• Use an air-conditioner or fan – Air conditioning can provide life saving relief from heat stress, especially if you have a medical condition like heart disease. Use a fan only when the windows are open or the air conditioner is on. Fans will not prevent heat-illness when the temperature is in the high 90’s
• Baths and showers – Cool baths or showers provide amazing relief from the heat 25 times faster than cool air.
• Clothing – Wear as little as possible when you are home. Lightweight, light colored, loose fitting clothing is morecomfortable in hot weather. Cotton and other natural fabrics are very comfortable. Wear a hat or use a parasol or umbrella to protect your head and neck when you are outdoors.
• Drink often – In hot weather, your body needs more water. Don’t wait until you are thirsty, because your body needs more fluid than thirst will indicate. By the time you feel thirsty, you may already be dangerously low on water. Drink often and in reasonable amounts. Don’t drink a lot of coffee or tea. They are all right in moderation, but water is your best bet. If you have a disease, a chronic medical condition or a problem with body water balance, check with your doctor for advice on how much water you should drink in hot weather.
• Slow down – Take it easy, especially at the start of hot weather when your body is less prepared for the heat. Physical activity produces body heat.
• Watch what you eat and monitor salt intake – Avoid hot foods and heavy meals. They add heat to your body. Try using your stove less. Cook your meals during the cooler part of the day. Check with your doctor before you increase the amount of salt or potassium in your diet. Do not take “salt tablets” without your doctor’s permission.
• Avoid alcohol – Alcohol interferes with your body’s fight against heat stress. It can put a strain on your heart.
• Apply sunscreen to your skin before going out in the sun. Avoid sun exposure particularly between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, typically the hottest hours of the day. Some medications make it harder for the body to control its temperature, putting people taking these medications at higher risk for heat-related illnesses. Medications that may increase the risk of heat-related illness include:
• Antidepressant drugs
• Anti-Parkinson drugs
• Psychiatric drugs
• Some antihistamines (e.g., Benadryl and Chlortripolon)
• Over-the-counter sleeping medications (e.g., Nytol)
• Anti-diarrhea pills (e.g., Lomotil)
For more information about issues that affect the public’s health, or the Washtenaw County Public Health Department, please visit http://publichealth.ewashtenaw.org or call (734) 544-6700.